sean cooke, nantwich town

By Ashley Houghton
Sean Cooke’s 75th minute strike rescued a point for Nantwich Town away at Blyth.

And Jimmy Quinn’s men are unlucky not to return with three after dominating in large parts at Croft Park.

But the Dabbers rued missed chances as they drew their third consecutive game in the Evo-Stik Premier Division.

Quinn was forced into multiple changes from the side that drew 2-2 with Buxton in the week with Rod McDonald and Mat Bailey injured, as well as Chris Flynn being unavailable, Christian Smith, Lewis Short and Caspar Hughes deputised.

Nantwich started brightly and went close after just 73 seconds when Cooke’s chipped effort went just over Conor Grant’s bar.

Blyth’s opportunities were few and far between in the early stages with Robert Dale’s 25 yard free-kick going just wide being their only notable effort inside the first quarter.

The Dabbers started with Josh Lane and Si Everall as a strike partnership for the first time and the two linked up well before the former struck Hughes’ cross just wide.

Spartans took the lead against the run of play ten minutes before half-time as Wayne Buchanan found space in the Nantwich penalty area and slotted Lee Mason’s free-kick past Brain.

Nantwich looked to reply immediately and went close through Cooke who intercepted Shaun Utterson’s clearance before lifting the ball over Grant only to see it go just wide.

Like the first-half The Dabbers came out brightly and Cooke was again the man to go closest, this time his 25 yard free-kick was well saved on the hour by Grant.

The former Crewe Alex youth did break the deadlock with 15 minutes to go though as his sweetly struck half-volley nestled in the top right-hand corner leaving Grant with no chance.

Lane had a late chance to win it for Nantwich but his shot from a tight angle flashed wide.

The Dabbers entertain Stocksbridge Park Steels on Saturday December 1, looking to extend their unbeaten run to four.

Nantwich: Brain, Carden, Short, Maguire (Campbell, 86), Moss ©, Smith, Cooke, McLachlan, Lane, Everall, Hughes (Wilson, 61). Subs: Anbridge, Gould.

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