Andy Pearson

A sensational double from centre back Andy Pearson earned Nantwich Town victory over Skelmersdale in the FA Trophy, writes Daniel Curtis.

And the 2-0 win landed Dabbers the title of BBC 606 non-league team of the week.

Dominating their opponents for the whole match, the Dabbers turned chances into goals and kept solid at the back to topple the league leaders.

Within three minutes both sides had created half chances. For Nantwich, Andy White drove in an early cross, which got shifted by the wind and just flicked passed the back post.

At the other end, Connor McCarthy almost got behind one-on-one, but a superb challenge from returning centre back Adam Jones blocked his shot.

The Dabbers started to press the home side hard, and Howard almost capitalised on a poor Fearon clearance.

He chested it down on six minutes and hit goalwards first time, with the goalkeeper recovering to save well.

Four minutes later Winslade burst through one-on-one, leaving his defender in the dust as he raced toward Fearon’s goal.

The striker hit it under the keeper, who got just enough on it to take the pace out of it and Bodie cleared off the line.

Skelmersdale United had a goal shout as a low free kick was diverted onto the bar by a defender. The follow up header was caught by Stevenson.

The Dabbers earned a deserved lead on 20 minutes, from a Howard corner. The curling ball was met by captain A. Jones, who headed it goalwards. It bounced perfectly for Pearson to turn home at the near post.

Skelmersdale were reduced to long shots – with Fernandes and Clayton trying their luck from distance.

Winslade dominated down the right and set up Howard, but he could not hit the target from 12 yards.

Kosylo almost broke through one-on-one – and again he was denied by an offside flag.

In the second half Nantwich Town continued to dominate with Winslade forcing Fearon into a save with just a minute gone.

On 50 minutes, captain A. Jones was replaced by Sam Wilson.

And within moments of the switch, Pearson had his and Nantwich’s second. From a free kick the centre back poked home under Fearon to double the lead.

A few minutes later they broke three-on-two, but Winslade could only find the banking behind the goal.

Clayton also went close, flicking a shot straight at Fearon from six yards out.

Then White’s 65th minute run at the Skelmersdale defence ended in a shot which trickled wide of the goal.

Kosylo beat two men before crossing from inside in the area but Howard slipped as he went to win the ball.

Four minutes later, he nicked the ball of a defender and slipped it through to Aaron Burns, but the sub’s effort curled wide.

Skelmersdale started to show signs of life in the final ten minutes and Burton’s half-volley forced a superb save out of an unsighted Stevenson.

Nantwich almost added a third when Sheehan spread the ball wide to Clayton, who flicked the ball behind to Harrop. His cross was low and driven, but Burns could not turn home at the back post.

In defence, Wilson and Pearson made important blocks in the box, and Byrne fired onto the roof of the net.

The final chance fell to Skelmersdale’s Sumner, but it was a comfortable save for Stevenson.

Nantwich Town, who now progress into the next round of the FA Trophy, return on Tuesday night in the league, when they will hope to repeat today’s win.

Nantwich Town: Stevenson, K. Harrop, White, Blake, A. Jones (C), Pearson, Kosylo, Sheehan, Winslade, Clayton, Howard. Subs: Wilson (on for A. Jones 50′), Burns (on for Winslade 70′), M. Harrop, Pepper (on for Sheehan 90+1′), Green.

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