Widnes - CALLUM SAUNDERS v Lancaster

Nantwich Town put five past Northern Counties East League Premier Division side Worksop Town in their First Round Qualifying tie of the FA Cup, writes Ryan Batty.

A brace from debutant Aaron Knight helped the Dabbers to victory, as well as a superb free-kick from James Lawrie, a header from Callum Saunders (pictured) and a rifling half-volley from Steve Jones.

The Dabbers asserted strong pressure from the first whistle, as Lawrie and Matt Bell had early efforts, Bell’s going wide of the post on the volley, while Lawrie’s thumping shot went into the arms of Andrew Francis.

After 11 minutes, a poor defensive header from Worksop almost fell into the path of Saunders, but the visitors were there to clear the ball away.

A moment later, Saunders had another chance that went wide of Francis’ post.

Then after Worksop failed to clear their lines, the ball fell into the path of Knight who slammed home to put the Dabbers in front.

Saunders could have doubled Nantwich’s lead after 23 minutes, as skipper Caspar Hughes turned his marker inside-out, before piercing the defence to find Saunders.

The Welshman’s left-footed effort was tipped away from the bottom corner by Francis.

The first major chance for the visitors came after 27 minutes as Connor Brunt rose above Troy Bourne to head over the bar.

They wouldn’t have to wait long for an equaliser as a lapse in concentration from the Nantwich backline saw Brunt played in, and he fired a well-timed finish past Jaaskelainen.

There were no changes at the break for either side, as Nantwich came out on the front foot in the second half.

Joel Stair had an early chance when he skipped past a defender in the box before a snapshot was saved well by Francis.

Glover could have put Nantwich back in front but his header from a corner smashed off the bar.

Dave Cooke’s men finally had their noses in front as Jamie Morgan was fouled on the edge of the Worksop ‘D’.

Man of the match Lawrie stepped up and curled a stunning effort into the top-left corner for 2-1.

Worksop reacted well and put pressure down the right-hand side. A cross into the box found Brunt, but his effort went wide.

A few moments later, Nantwich added a third.

A free-kick was deflected off the wall into the air and Knight was first to react to deftly head over the keeper into the bottom corner.

Two minutes later, a lovely cross from Glover found Saunders, who flicked a header home to give Nantwich a 4-1 lead and seal victory.

Nantwich took their foot off the gas slightly and Worksop substitute Tomas Poole scored a consolation.

With three minutes to go, veteran Steve Jones rifled one home on the half-volley to seal Nantwich’s qualification into the Second Round Qualifying.

Nantwich’s scheduled league visit to Marine on Tuesday has been postponed as Marine face an FA Cup replay against Scarborough Athletic.

The Dabbers will return to action on Saturday when they host Whitby Town for a 3pm kick-off.

Nantwich: Jaaskelainen, Morgan, Cotterell, Stair, Bourne, Hughes (C), Lawrie, Bell (Cooke 65′), Glover, Saunders (Jones 75′), Knight (Mwasile 63′)
Subs not used: Malkin, Spiess, McDonald, Lindfield

(library pic courtesy of Mark Welton)

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