Sean Cooke on the attack (1)

Nantwich Town earned an Emirates FA Cup Second Qualifying Round replay with Blyth Spartans after an entertaining 3-3 draw, writes James Brown.

The Dabbers started the more threatening side as an Aaron Knight shot was saved by Blyth keeper Peter Jameson.

They deservedly took the lead on 13 minutes following some excellent work from Callum Saunders to turn his man on the left-hand side before finding James Lawrie who fired home from close range.

Saunders was looking dangerous every time Nantwich came forward in the first half, brilliantly cutting inside and hitting a strike which went straight down the throat of Jameson.

The visitors took a while to get into the game but began to create chances 20 minutes in, with Dabbers keeper Fabian Spiess making a close range save.

Strong attacking play from Blyth needed to be dealt with by Nantwich defence as a succession of corners peppered Spiess’ goal.

An injury to Matt Bell forced the Dabbers into a first half change as Sean Cooke came on to add another attacking threat after 33 minutes.

Blyth’s biggest threat was captain Robbie Dale and the tall striker had a good chance to equalise after finding space inside the box but his effort went into the side netting.

The visitors were level a minute before half-time when Jamie Holmes turned Troy Bourne before slotting under the legs of Spiess against the run of play.

Danny Glover wins the ball (1)A relatively even start to the second half was broken when Dabbers skipper Caspar Hughes fired an absolute rocket which practically broke the net in the top left corner to put Nantwich back in front on 57 minutes.

It was short-lived as a minute later Blyth were level when a corner into the box fell for Sean Reid to slam home past Spiess.

Saunders was unlucky not to test Jameson just after the hour, bringing a long ball down well in the box before hitting first time inches over the bar.

That miss was punished as Blyth went ahead on 65 minutes when a missed tackle by Nathan Cotterell allowed the visitors to push forward and find a cross met by Bradley Fewster to steer home from two yards out.

A huge turning point came with 20 minutes to go when Michael Liddle, already on a yellow, was shown his marching orders after a foul on Saunders.

Joe Mwasile came on for Knight as Nantwich looked to hammer home the man advantage and Saunders almost made it 3-3 with a header which was just too weak to beat Jameson.

It could easily have been all over with nine minutes to go as Reid dipped a half volley which smacked against the bar.

With Steve Jones on for the final push, Glover was inches away from an equaliser after a Jameson save from Lawrie fell for the striker, but his follow-up was narrowly wide.

The Dabbers fighting spirit was rewarded with three minutes remaining when a Glover header off the bar was slammed home by Lawrie on the rebound to make it 3-3.

Following the equaliser, Nantwich piled on the pressure and came close to a last gasp victory.

Cooke’s curling effort was saved well by Jameson before a Lawrie free-kick in the final minute of added time was deflected off the wall and away from danger.

They will do it all again on Tuesday 7.45pm kick-off in the replay.

Nantwich Town: Fabian Spiess, Troy Bourne, Nathan Cotterell (Steve Jones 82’), Joel Stair, Toby Mullarkey, Caspar Hughes (c), James Lawrie, Matt Bell (Sean Cooke 33’), Danny Glover, Callum Saunders, Aaron Knight (Joe Mwasile 73’). Subs not used: Jamie Morgan, Will Jaaskelainen (GK), Joe Malkin, Louis Barnes.

(pics by Jonathan White)

First Nantwich goal - scorer James Lawrie celebrates his goal with captain Caspar Hughes (1)

Danny Glover eyes the ball (1)

Joel Stair fights for the ball with Blyth captain Robbie Dale (1)

Blyth Spartans third goal - Bradley Fewster steers it home from two yards (1)

Blyth Spartans third goal - scorer Bradley Fewster celebrates with fans (1)

Nantwich Town 3 - 3 Blyth Spartans - FA Cup Second Qualifying Round

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

By using this form you agree with the storage and handling of your data by this website, to learn more please read our privacy policy.


Captcha * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.