Alex Meaney

Despite more-than matching the table toppers, Nantwich Town went home without a point on a frustrating night in Skelmersdale, writes Daniel Curtis.

The Dabbers could not repeat their FA Trophy win over United, with Alan Burton’s 61st minute header the key moment of the game.

Nantwich got the first corner and both Adam Jones and Burns had headers from it, but Martin Fearon saved.

Ex-Dabber Alex Meaney (pictured), who signed for Skelmersdale in the week, was an early threat for the hosts, having three shots blocked in as many minutes by Nantwich defenders inside the box.

The Dabbers were not content with conceding pressure and went on the offensive. Even A. Jones was pushing for the opener – getting a 20 yard volley away, which was blocked.

Skelmersdale managed to muster a goalmouth scramble, but with Scott Bakkor trying to get a shot away David Stevenson came out well to grab the ball and clear the danger.

And the stopper had to be alert a minute later when Connor McCarthy pinged in a shot from 20 yards. It skidded and bounced off the wet surface, but Stevenson was well behind it.

But Nantwich continued to press the hosts and could have gone ahead three minutes later.

An early cross from Max Harrop fell almost perfectly for Aaron Burns, but he could not control it as it skidded away on the surface.

With eight minutes until the break Valtar Fernandes and Meaney combined to play McCarthy into a good position.

But captain Jones put him under immediate pressure and the forward blazed well over and out the ground.

The last half-chance of the half fell to Burns, but his early shot was blocked.

And it was Burns who got the first shot of the second half away, blazing just over the top corner from a good 20 yards out.

Down the other end, on 52 minutes, Meaney found space on the left and hit a shot across Stevenson, who produced a superb save.

And it was the same creator five minutes later, forcing Stevenson to work hard. Meaney crossed low to McCarthy, who was threatening in the six yard box, and got their first. But Stevenson came out well to smother and save.

But there was nothing he could do on 61 minutes, when Burton rose high to head a looping effort over Stevenson, onto the bar and in.

Manager Danny Johnson opted to bring on more attacking options, with Anthony Sheehan and Max Harrop replaced by Adam Pepper and Mark Winslade.

Pepper had  a free kick just over with 15 minutes to play.

White won a corner with a long shot three minutes later and Fearon saved well from an 18 yard chip from Winslade.

The chance of the game fell to Burns with ten minutes left.

A quick free kick found Iain Howard wide left and he crossed low to Burns who met it at the near post, but knocked it over the bar from five yards.

Burns continued to threaten as the game entered the closing stages and it was his cross, after a good interchange with Harry Clayton, that had to be cleared off the line.

Nantwich are next in action against Stourbridge in the Doodson Sports Cup 1st Round on Tuesday November 11.

Kick-off at the Weaver Stadium is at 7.45pm and ticket prices have been reduced for the clash.

Nantwich Town: Stevenson, K. Harrop, White, Blake, A. Jones (C), Pearson, Clayton, Sheehan, Burns, Howard, M. Harrop.
Subs: Wilson, Dowling, Pepper (on for Sheehan 71′), Winslade (on for M. Harrop 71′), Smith.

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