Iain Howard, new Nantwich Town signing

Nantwich Town beat the snow and ice – but couldn’t beat FC United of Manchester despite an excellent performance, writes Richard Scott.

The Dabbers lost 2-1 after an injury time goal from Craig Linfield pinched all three points for FC United.

Iain Howard (pictured) had given Nantwich the lead on seven minutes.

Tom Greaves levelled on 69 minutes before Linfield scored the winner to break Dabbers’ hearts in front of almost 2,000 supporters.

Nantwich started well and took the lead on seven minutes when a Nicky Platt free kick was cleared to Howard who hit a rasping shot in off the post.

Moments later Mark Jones almost doubled the lead only for David Carnell’s foot to deny him.

Howard could have turn provider, when he fed Mark Winslade who slipped as he hit his shot straight into Carnell’s hands.

At the other end, Terry Smith saved as Greg Daniels beat the offside trap.

Nantwich defender Mat Bailey headed one off the line from Callum Byrne’s long effort, following a punch from Smith.

Carnell had to make a fine save from Howard, when Platt broke through on goal before squaring to Howard, who’s shot was blocked.

Both teams held nothing back and both captains were booked.

Nantwich could have been 2-0 up just before the break as Winslade challenged Carnell for the ball as the keeper tried to dribble clear.

Platt almost scored in the final minute of the half. He turned outside the area but his powerful shot flew just over.

FC United had the first chance of the second half when a corner fell to Payne but the forward’s effort was deflected over the bar.

Howard then fed in Aaron Burns, but he shot wide spurning a good chance to double the lead.

Winslade also had a great chance on 64 minutes when Carnell missed a looping cross by Burns and it found his strike partner but it rolled just out of play.

FC United brought on Greaves, Dave Birch and Tom Brown for Stott, Daniels and Byrne on 67 minutes.

And it paid off as the hosts levelled with a freak goal when Dabbers keeper Smith smashed his clearance into Greaves’ back and it deflected into the net.

Nantwich made a double change with 11 minutes to go as Winslade and Burns were brought off for Kosylo and Steve Jones.

Andy White forced Carnell into conceding a corner after he whipped a low cross in to the box.

With six minutes to go FC United hit the bar from a free kick, Nantwich able to get the ball away.

Both teams had chances to find the winner in a thrilling end to the contest.

Kosylo turned inside the FC United area but shot wide.

In the 91st minute of injury time, FC United won it when Linfield broke clear to finish past Smith.

In the final seconds, Bailey headed just wide at that was that.

Nantwich welcome Trafford to the Weaver Stadium next Saturday (January 24), kick off 3pm.

Nantwich Town: Smith, Dowling, White, Blake, Harrison, Bailey, Platt, M.Jones (Capt), Burns, Winslade and Howard.
Subs: Harrop, Clayton, Kosylo (on for Burns, 79 minutes), S.Jones (on for Winslade, 79 minutes) and A.Jones

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