Two against Rushall - Sean Cooke, Nantwich Town (pic by Simon J Newbury) sent off at Buxton

Nantwich Town experienced mixed fortunes in their two festive league games – but will go into 2016 in position to mount a promotion challenge.

The Dabbers slumped to a disappointing 3-1 defeat away at Buxton yesterday (December 28).

The loss was compounded by the sending off of Sean Cooke early in the second half, ending any hopes of a comeback after the team trailed 2-1 at the break.

Buxton had taken an early lead in the second minute when Ash Burbeary turned neatly in the area and fired past Burzynski.

Phil Parkinson’s men hit back and created several chances, falling to Shotton and Kosylo. Matt Bell also smashed a shot against the bar.

Bailey cleared off the line at the other end, but the hosts took a 2-0 lead on 39 minutes when Bembo-Leta reacted quickest to the ball in the box.

Nantwich deservedly pulled a goal back when Sam Hall crashed one in off the bar in the second minute of injury time before the break.

But hopes of a comeback were curtailed four minutes after the restart when Cooke was red-carded for a flailing elbow.

Nantwich dug in well, and matched Buxton for much of the second period despite being a man down.

However, the hosts sealed the win on 70 minutes when Burrell fired home their third.

Buxton were also reduced to 10 men in the final minute when Belezika received a second yellow for a clumsy challenge on Kosylo.

The defeat was a blow for Nantwich after they earned three points on Boxing Day at home to Skelmersdale.

That victory came courtesy of a late penalty from Kosylo in the 88th minute in front of a bumper 600 crowd.

Nantwich remain in second place in Evo-Stik Premier League, five points behind leaders Blyth Spartans.

The Dabbers are next in action this Saturday January 2 at home to Whitby Town, kick off 3pm.

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