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By Ashley Houghton
A late Alex Steadman equaliser prevented Nantwich Town from taking all three points in a feisty encounter at the Weaver Stadium.

Steadman, who was sent off in the closing stages, levelled in the 80th minute after Mat Bailey had given Nantwich a first-half lead.

The Dabbers, who had Darren Moss sent off early in the second half, were largely dominant in the early stages.

Young winger Tom Urwin hit the crossbar after just four minutes, the ex-Stoke teenager cut in from the left and was unfortunate to see his 25 yard strike bounce back off the bar.

Mickleover came into the game more as the first half went on and Danny Quinn should have given them the lead on 15 minutes.

Quinn was one on one with Jon Brain but his right-footed shot was saved well by the ex-Port Vale and Macclesfield stopper.

The Derbyshire side had their keeper Damian Clarke to thank for a string of late saves in the first half, the best coming from Moss’s header which looked destined for the top corner.

Nantwich broke the deadlock five minutes before half-time when Bailey, playing as a centre forward for the first time this season, elegantly chipped over Clarke from the edge of the area.

Sean Cooke went close to doubling the lead but his sharp turn and shot went just wide.

The major turning point in the game came on the hour mark as Moss’s sliding tackle on Kieran O’Connell was judged to be a sending off by referee Eddie Smart, much to the surprise of everybody in the stadium.

Mickleover made the man advantage count as they asserted control, and their equaliser came ten minutes from time when Steadman got in behind the Dabbers defence and hammered past Brain.

Steadman himself was sent off for a second bookable offence in the final minute after he fouled Matt Lowe.

Nantwich could have nicked it in the final minute as Michael Lennon got on the end of Lowe’s cross only to be thwarted by Clarke in the Mickleover goal.

Nantwich: Brain, Lowe, Solovjovs, MacPherson, Moss, McDonald, Cooke (Mitchell, 62), Maguire, Bailey, Lennon ©, Urwin (Foster, 80). Subs: Everall, Flynn, Wakefield.

Mickleover Sports: Clarke, Grocott, Hoyle (Wood, 66), Walshe ©, McAughtrie, Smythe (Guy, 58), Graves, Simpson, Quinn (Nwadike, 45), O’Connell, Steadman. Subs: Strzyzweski, Farthing.

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