Blyth FA Cup - Nantwich Town's Weaver Stadium, pre-season games, community football

An Aaron Burns double and one from Vinnie Mukendi gave Nantwich Town all three points at home to Matlock Town.

The victory in front of delighted Dabbers fans at the Weaver Stadium has pushed Nantwich to 12th in Evo-Stik Premier League.

Boss Danny Johnson was able to welcome back Mat Bailey to the defence after missing with a groin injury, while new signing Iain Howard (pictured) made his debut following his signing from Witton Albion.

The game kicked off in a frantic pace with both sides looking to make their mark on the match.

But most of the play in the opening five minutes was played out in the middle of the park.

On seven minutes Dabbers centre back Adam Jones went on a lung busting run through the middle of the pitch before playing to Howard to released Max Harrop but the winger couldn’t get the ball into the area.

Then four minutes later Andy White made a storming run down the wing before crossing to Burns, but one of the Matlock defenders managed to get the ball away before the goal machine could get a chance on goal.

At the other end Jamie Yates could have opened the scoring but the Gladiator shot was over the bar.

Mukendi had a great game for the Dabbers and had a couple of chances to score as the former Southport and Macclesfield Town player used his strength and height to impose himself.

On the half hour mark Adam Jones forced Matlock keeper John Kennedy to make a smart save to stop the centre back from opening the scoring.

But in the process the defender seemed to injure himself and had to come off straight afterwards.

But just five minutes later the Dabbers were 1-0 up when after good play form Howard and Harrop they found Alex Meaney.

The former Stockport man played it out to Burns who was on the edge of area and the striker smashed the ball in to score his third goal since his return from Marine.

Mukendi had a chance to double the Dabbers lead two minutes before the interval but his shot was wide of the goal.

Meanwhile at the other end Yates could have scored when he found himself unmarked but he was to balloon his shot over the bar and the Dabbers went into the break a goal up.

The second half saw Matlock come out strongly but the Nantwich players were on hand to stop the Gladiators from finding a way back into the game.

Mat Bailey put in a fine performance across the pitch for Nantwich when he had a chance to score on 56 minutes when he controlled Harrop’s free kick with his knee but the big defender couldn’t score.

Then a second later Howard could have marked his Nantwich debut with a special overhead kick but he wasn’t able to connect with the ball.

In an action packed few minutes for the Dabbers, Burns, Meaney and Mukendi all had chances to double the lead but were unable too.

But the Dabbers were 2-0 up on 66 minutes when a goalmouth scamble from a Harrop corner found Bailey who teed up Burns who netted from inside the six yard box leaving the keeper with no chance.

Matlock had chances to reduce the deficit with Corey Gregory and Danny Holland both having chances for Matlock, in fact Holland’s effort had beaten Ashley but Bailey was on the line to clear it away from danger.

Mukendi had a couple more chances to score but he was unable to beat Kennedy but on 78 minutes he was played in by Howard and the striker was on hand to fire in to make it 3-0 to the Dabbers.

Matlock weren’t giving up and with 10 minutes to play Joe Leesley had a shot from 30 yards out which beat Ashley to make it 3-1.

The Dabbers will be disappointed with the goal they conceded as their first clean sheet since the opening day of the season would have been the icing of the cake.

Harrop had a chance for Nantwich in the final few minutes of the game, while James Ashmore could have got the visitors a second late on but the scoring was over.

Nantwich are now up to 12th in the league following the result and will be looking for three more points next Saturday as they visit Trafford in the league.

Nantwich Town: Ashley, Brown, M.Jones (C), A.Jones, Bailey, Mukendi, Howard, Burns, Harrop and Meaney. Subs: Blake (on for A.Jones, 30 minutes), Clayton (on for Howard, 79 minutes), Johnson, Winslade (On for Mukendi, 79 minutes) and Bramall

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