By Ashley Houghton
Dave MacPherson grabbed a brace as Nantwich closed the gap on eighth place Rushall Olympic to one point at the Weaver Stadium.

The Dabbers fell behind to a Mitchell Tolley penalty but MacPherson’s double and goals from Rod McDonald and Tom Urwin earned a convincing 4-1 win.

Nantwich were unchanged from the side that hammered Kendal Town 3-0, meaning Jimmy Quinn once again fielded seven players under the age of 21.

The Pics had the better of the early play and went closest through Ahmed Obeng’s volley, but Dabbers keeper Jon Brain was equal to the strike.

Brain was forced into action once again as a short corner routine between Luke Bottomer and Alex Melbourne, resulted in the latter’s cross nearly nestling in the top right hand corner, but the ex-Walsall stopper tipped over.

Bottomer was the main threat for Rushall and he won them a penalty on the half hour, having got in behind Matt Lowe, the left winger broke into the penalty area only to be felled by the ex-Macclesfield right back.

Tolley stepped up to take the penalty and made no mistake in sending Brain the wrong way and hammering into the bottom left hand corner.

Only five minutes later though, the Dabbers had a penalty of their own; Lowe and Michael Lennon combined to feed through Urwin who was brought down unfairly by James Skedgel.

MacPherson matched Tolley’s efforts at the other end by hammering home into the bottom left hand corner leaving Chris Gemmel with no chance.

The Dabbers were unlucky not to take the lead just before half-time as a route one kick from Brain was flicked on by Si Everall to Lennon, whose flashing shot was well saved by Gemmel.

Five minutes after the restart and Nantwich were ahead. Urwin’s corner was met by Mat Bailey and his header was flicked in by McDonald at the back post.

A flurry of chances then came for the hosts as the game opened up, a MacPherson header could have made it three and Everall, who once again showed his recent signs of improvement, weaved between two defenders and forced a good save from Gemmel.

MacPherson did grab his second on 66 minutes after Lennon’s shot was blocked, Lowe chipped the ball back into the area and MacPherson, who was unmarked, showed good composure to head home into the bottom right hand corner.

Rushall never looked like getting back into it and the closest they came was through substitute Kyle Brady.

Brady played a good one-two with fellow substitute Danny Campbell only for Brain to make another fine save and keep out Brady from close range.

The fourth goal for Nantwich came in stoppage time as Dabbers substitute Josh Lane was involved in a good move with Bailey before the latter fed Urwin. His powerful effort was unstoppable.

Nantwich: Brain, Lowe, White, Hughes, Bailey (c), McDonald, Urwin, MacPherson (Flynn, 80), Everall (Lane, 84), Lennon, Foster. Subs: Maguire, Moss, Mitchell.

All pictures courtesy of Simon J Newbury Photography

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