Toby Mullarkey on the ball in a snowstorm

Nantwich Town suffered the winter blues at a snowy Weaver Stadium where they were beaten 3-1 at home by strugglers Halesowen Town.

It was the Dabbers’ second successive home defeat, and with only one league win from five outings all but ends their slim play-off hopes.

Nantwich remain in 13th place, but they are now 12 points behind Shaw Lane in the final play-off berth, who have games in hand.

Dave Cooke’s men struggled to adapt to the on and off blizzard conditions in South Cheshire, and second from bottom Halesowen cashed in to boost their survival hopes.

Jordan Cole had a couple of early chances for Nantwich, while former West Brom striker Lee Hughes, now aged 41, proved a handful for the Dabbers defence.

The visitors took the lead rather fortuitously on 11 minutes when a high ball into a swirling wind by Daniele Bragoli deceived keeper Boney and sailed over him into the net.

Nantwich were soon level, though, when Matt Bell curled a fine effort into the bottom-left corner on 17 minutes to make it 1-1.

Yet, the Dabbers went behind just four minutes later when the veteran predator Hughes darted in behind the defence and fired an expert finish from close range.

Jordan Cole header at goal

Harry Clayton and Joe Mwasile continued to give Halesowen’s backline a test, but the strugglers held out to half-time.

The second period began slowly as the feezing, windy conditions made if difficult for most players.

Cole went close with a header on 60 minutes after a fine cross by Morgan, but two minutes later Hughes sealed the victory for Halesowen.

He latched on to a defensive mix up and produced an excellent finish to make it 3-1.

Nantwich piled on the pressure without creating too many clear cut openings, Mwasile going close on 88 minutes when his shot clipped the bar.

Halesowen held out, much to the frustration of most of the 196 supporters to brave the conditions.

Nantwich are back in action in midweek when they welcome Stalybridge Celtic to the Weaver Stadium.

(Pics courtesy of Jonathan White)

Troy Bourne heads towards goal

Joe Mwasile eyes the ball

Clayton McDonald wins the ball with a header

Toby Mullarkey eyes the ball under pressure from Halesowen

Courtney Wildin eyes the ball

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