Nantwich v Stafford - Harry Clayton shot at goal under pressure

Nantwich Town’s season ended in defeat as they went down 3-0 to Stafford Rangers thanks to two penalties from Robert Thompson-Brown at the Weaver Stadium, writes Steve Sharman.

The Rangers midfielder netted a spot kick in either half with Tyrell Waite also scoring during the second period making it a day to forget for the Dabbers.

Manager Dave Cooke made more changes from Tuesday’s defeat to Shaw Lane with Myles Boney, Caspar Hughes and Joe Mwasile all returning to the starting line up.

The game started brightly and the Dabbers defence had to be alert to clear their lines after Joe Thomas beat Boney to the ball.

At the other end and a fine run down the left hand side from Jamie Morgan saw the winger fire a cross in to Danny Griggs, but the assistant manager shot straight at Adam Whitehouse when well placed inside the box.

A minute later and the visitors were awarded their first penalty of the afternoon as Thompson-Brown went down under a challenge from Cotterell.

The midfielder stepped up and calmly slotted into the bottom corner to give his side an early lead.

Joe Mwasile crosses the ball under pressure
Joe Mwasile crosses the ball under pressure

Nantwich responded well as Harry Clayton was played in down the right hand side but his dangerous low cross flew across the face of goal without finding a green shirt.

Rangers could well have had a second midway through the half but Boney made a fine one handed save to palm away Thomas’ low effort.

Despite a number of chances early on, the game died down with neither side able to create any more clear opportunities.

Five minutes before the break, the Dabbers went close to getting a deserved equaliser but Clayton was inches from converting Griggs’ low ball.

Whitehouse then did well to palm Cotterell’s powerful effort from the edge of the box, before Matt Bell saw his shot deflect inches past the post.

The Dabbers made one change at the break as Bell was replaced by David Neligwa as they looked for a way back in the game.

Nathan Cotterell challenges for the ball
Nathan Cotterell challenges for the ball

They did go close early on as Whitehouse had to back peddle and tip Troy Bourne’s cross from the right over the bar.

But Stafford soon doubled their lead as referee Lewis Smith awarded another penalty as Mwasile was harshly penalised for a foul on Sam Griffiths.

Thompson-Brown stepped up once again to fire into the net and send Boney the wrong way.

Two was soon three for Rangers as Griffiths low pull back from the right was converted from close range by Waite.

Things weren’t happening for the Dabbers as they looked for a consolation and Griggs went close to doing so as he cut in from the left before curling wide of the far post.

Cotterell then fired over the bar after bursting through the centre of the pitch before Mwasile also shot over after neat footwork allowed him time for a shot on the edge of the box.

This was as close as the Dabbers came to scoring in the second period as they ended their campaign with defeat to Rangers.

The season isn’t over though for Cooke’s side as they take on Stockport Town on Wednesday evening in the Cheshire Senior Cup Final hosted at Runcorn Linnets (7.45pm KO).

Nantwich Town: Boney (Hawkins 71′), Morgan, O’Riordan, Mullarkey, Bourne, Bell (Neligwa 46′), Mwasile, Hughes (c), Clayton, Griggs, Cotterell.

(pics courtesy of Jonathan White)

Declan O'Riordan on the ball
Declan O’Riordan on the ball
Danny Griggs challenges for the ball
Danny Griggs challenges for the ball
Final whistle - Stafford Rangers Manager Neil Kitching thanks the fans - final game in charge (2)
Final whistle – Stafford Rangers Manager Neil Kitching thanks the fans – final game in charge

One Comment

  1. Very poor home performance, 5 defeats in a row,one cup final does not make a season.

    The team has been rebuilding for a hole season now and after this performance not much has been achived.

    We seem to lack confidence in all areas,Harry Clayton runs his legs off all game but with no support and poor service from the midfield it is a thankless task.

    We make the same mistakes week in week out ,trying to play the ball out from the back,we play so deep that we invite pressure on ourselves.

    The attendance figures show that the home support is flagging,changes are required in the closed season.

    Come on Nantwhich we could be so much better than this.

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