Cheshire Cup Final v Crewe Alex - Substitute Ryan Brooke powers through the defense in the second half

The friendliest of local derbies set the scene for this year’s Cheshire Senior Cup Final as Crewe Alex and Nantwich Town locked horns at Gresty Road, writes Joe Ellis.

A youthful looking Crewe side with many academy graduates took on a full strength Nantwich side, coming off the back of a draw at Spennymoor on Saturday.

And it was the Dabbers who got the first shot on goal as Osebi Abadaki cut in from the left but his shot was weak and Scott Wardley gathered easily.

The first goal of an entertaining match came soon after as a Harry Pickering cross from the left was turned in at the second attempt by first team regular Ryan Wintle to give Crewe an early lead on nine minutes.

Nantwich struck back almost instantly as Abadaki once again beat his man down the left to cross for Ryan Brooke (pictured) to convert first time by a stranded Wardley with 13 minutes played.

Crewe should have returned the favour immediately but ex-Nantwich loanee Oliver Finney sliced his shot wide from eight yards after Callum Saunders pulled the ball back from the byline.

With 22 minutes on the clock, Crewe took the lead again as the impressive Callum Ainley curled the ball past Nantwich keeper Dan Gyollai from the edge of the box.

Late in the first half, a typical Ben Harrison rampaging run ended with his deflected effort from the edge of the box tipped over by Wardley.

Crewe left back Pickering then got beyond the Nantwich back line but couldn’t convert his shot beyond Gyollai.

This was quickly followed by Ainley skipping away from Sam Hall’s sliding challenge to shoot wide from 25 yards, which ended a breath-taking first half.

The second period started in similar fashion.

And former Crewe Alex favourite Steve Jones levelled it up for the Dabbers when he squeezed a shot past Wardley that trickled over the line within a minute of the re-start.

A 20-minute lull then followed as very little happened until Crewe centre back Perry Ng let fly from 30 yards and saw his shot sail comfortably wide.

Josh Hancock, off the bench for Nantwich, then struck from 25 yards and forced Wardley to parry the ball out and it was eventually cleared by Crewe.

There were cheers all round when the linesman’s flag fell off the handle, stopping the game momentarily.

This was followed by a weaving run by exciting Crewe youngster Owen Dale, but his surge towards goal was halted by a crunching Harrison tackle.

Crewe then delivered the sucker punch with six minutes left on the clock.

Finney charged at the Nantwich back four and chose to slide the ball through for Saunders who fired hard and low across goal and into the bottom corner past Gyollai.

A late Hancock shot was brilliantly blocked by Finney as Nantwich pushed for an equaliser.

But Crewe held on to win the 2016-17 Cheshire Senior Cup, 3-2.

Nantwich now look ahead to Saturday’s league match with Ashton United at the Weaver Stadium, with promotion still well within their reach as Crewe travel to Accrington Stanley in League Two.

Nantwich: Gyollai; White, Touray, C.Jones, Harrison; Hall, Riley, Bell (Cooke); S.Jones, Brooke (Mwasile), Abadaki (Hancock). Unused Subs: Stair, Peers

Crewe: Wardley; Wilkinson, Pickering, Poscha, Ng; Finney, Wintle; Kirk, Ainley, Dale; Saunders. Unused Subs: Griffiths, Hilton, Offord, Sass-Davies, Harrison
Attendance: 1,831

One Comment

  1. HIGHLIGHTS: Crewe Alexandra 3-2 Nantwich Town:

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