Danny Johnson, Nantwich Town manager (pic by Simon J Newbury)

By James Briscoe
Nantwich Town manager Danny Johnson was pleased with his Dabbers players after their pre-season defeat against Stalybridge Celtic.

Johnson looked on as Nantwich acquitted themselves well against a team a league above from the Conference North.

“We are still working on a number of things,” said Johnson.

“It’s why games against quality opposition like this are important at this stage and even though we only gave him half an hour to ease him back in, I am sure the supporters will have seen why we rate Danny Caldecott so highly.

“We have three more games before the big kick off on the 17th and we will probably experiment a bit more and give further opportunities to players on Monday (August 5) at Kidsgrove, before pulling things together at Chester and Connah’s Quay as we look to finalise our preparations and fine tune the team prior to the Kings Lynn game.”

As well as Caldecott making his debut, Peter Wright and Harry Clayton started upfront for the first time.

And Nantwich started brightly with some neat ball to feet passing moves.

Caldecott’s long range passing was particularly impressive and Clayton forced Staylybridge stopper Anthony Pilkington to parry a fierce shot away for a corner on 18 minutes.

Stalybridge’s Andy McWilliams burst down the left hand wing and crossed for Lewis Hatch who’s shot was out of reach of reserve keeper Chris Cheetham to make it 1-0 to Staylybridge at the break.

In the second period, Nantwich introduced Joe Guest.

However Sean McConnville for Staylybridge picked up a loose ball in the area and curled a beautiful shot into the top left hand corner to make it 2-0 on the hour.

The introduction of Carlos Meakin and Max Harrop on 70 minutes and Aaron Burns and Thomas Moore soon after put the Dabbers in the ascendancy.

On 82 minutes, Harrop’s sublime left-footed shot hit the back off the net to register his first goal for the Dabbers and put them back in the game.

When Harrop tormented the Stalybridge defence minutes later, setting up Aaron Burns to turn and hit the net, it looked like the Dabbers had battled to a deserved draw, only for it to be disallowed for offside.

(pic courtesy of Simon J Newbury Photography)

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