winner against Skelmersdale - Hat-trick hero Sean Cooke

Nantwich Town made it 11 league games unbeaten as they held off a determined Skelmersdale United to win 3-2 at Stormy Corner.

The Dabbers had to battle hard as the bottom club pushed them all the way, with a Sean Cooke (pictured) penalty winning it.

Phil Parkinson made five changes, Andy White returning in defence, and Joe Howell handed his full debut in midfield.

Sean Cooke, Steve Jones and Ryan Brooke completed the changes for the Dabbers.

Cooke started well, shooting straight at Skem keeper Chris Cheetham early on.

Jones had two shots blocked before White tested Cheetham with low shot at the near post.

But the Dabbers were indebted to their keeper Dan Gyollai as he stopped a curling effort on goal from the edge of the box on 15 minutes.

Nantwich nosed ahead midway through the half as they punished the home side’s high defensive line.

Cooke picked up the ball on the halfway line and set Brooke in on goal.

He slotted cooly past Cheetham for his 10th and the club’s 100th of the season.

The Dabbers were at times loose in possession and were punished for one lapse, as a long ball over the top beat the defence and set Skem captain Phil Mooney in on goal.

He nipped in ahead of Gyollai to roll in for the equaliser.

Johnston was proving a threat as he switched wings to go down the right.

He tried an audacious lob which landed on the roof of the net, then his cross into the six-yard box was hastily gathered by Cheetham.

In the second half, Nantwich started strongly and took the lead just two minutes in.

White’s shot bounced awkwardly on Cheetham who could only parry the ball and Jones was on hand to tap in.

The Dabbers were dominant and Brooke volleyed just over after the ball sat up for him on the edge of the box.

Skem’s first chance of the second half came when Shacklock cut inside and curled straight at Gyollai.

The hosts battled hard to get back into the game and caused the Dabbers some problems at the back.

The chances continued to come for both teams, as Cooke saw an attempt blocked yet again, whilst Shacklock curled well over at the other end.

On 70 minutes, Skem sub Max Allan hit a shot on goal that Gyollai was able to save and gather on the touchline.

But the referee pointed for a corner.

In the confusion, Skem capitalised as the ball dropped and Callum Grogan turned in off the bar to draw the home side level again.

Gyollai was booked for his protests at the original corner.

To their credit, the Dabbers went up the other end and immediately hit back.

Brooke was played in to the left of goal and he beat the onrushing Cheetham to the ball, with the keeper fouling the striker for a penalty.

Talisman Cooke stepped up and hit an unstoppable spot-kick high into the net for his 20th of the season to restore the Dabbers lead.

Abadaki almost made it 4-2 when he cut inside and beat two men, his shot firing just over the bar.

The Dabbers were able to hold on and stay hot on the heels of Stourbridge in second place in Evo Stik Premier League.

Nantwich Town: Dan Gyollai, Andy White, Ibou Touray, Joel Stair, Ben Harrison, Sam Hall(c), Steve Jones(Osebi Abadaki, 60), Joe Howell(Wayne Riley, 54), Ryan Brooke, Sean Cooke, John Johnston(Joe Mwasile, 72). Unused subs: Tom Peers, Curtis Jones

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