Joe Malkin - scored two goals (1)

Nantwich Town sit proudly at the top of the Evo-Stik Premier League today after an away victory at the seaside.

The Dabbers, who started the day in second place, earned a battling 1-0 win at Whitby Town.

Meanwhile, Whitby’s neighbours Scarborough Athletic, who were the league leaders, were losing 3-1 away at Basford.

It meant Joe Malkin’s 51st minute strike was enough to take David Cooke’s men to the top of tree at the midway point of the season.

Malkin rose highest to bullet a header in from a corner which was curled deliciously into the box.

It was Malkin’s first goal for the club, and Nantwich should have increased their lead.

Sean Cooke had an effort cleared off the line, Matt Bell’s fine strike was narrowly over, and Jamie Lawrie denied by a fine McHugh stop as he ran in one on one.

Then on 87 minutes Nathan Cotterell’s right-footed shot beat McHugh and but was again cleared off the line by a scrambling Whitby defence.

Before the break, Whitby had posed more of a danger and returning loanee keeper Will Jaaskelainen had to be sharp to deny the hosts.

On 29 minutes, Nantwich should have taken the lead when they were awarded a penalty as Callum Saunders was hauled down in the box.

But keeper McHugh guessed well and saved Lawrie’s spotkick.

Thankfully, it did not come back to haunt the Dabbers who deservedly clinched the win in the second period.

They are now on top of the league on 42 points from 21 games, two points ahead of Scarborough.

But a number of other clubs, including Farsley Celtic, Warrington and Basford, are looking dangerous with games in hand.

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