2018-19 Cheshire FA Senior Cup winners Nantwich Town raise the trophy (2)

Nantwich Town made it back-to-back Cheshire Senior Cup titles with a convincing 5-2 victory over Cammell Laird 1907 at Altrincham FC, writes James Brown.

The Dabbers were quick out of the blocks, looking composed in possession and producing some lovely link-up play which ultimately led to the opening goal of the game on nine minutes from the penalty spot.

Sean Cooke’s superb skill played Callum Saunders in on goal before the striker was tripped in the box leaving Premier League referee Anthony Taylor no choice but to point to the spot.

Cooke stepped up and thumped his spot-kick right down the middle to give Nantwich an early advantage.

Joe Malkin and Saunders both went close soon after, the latter with a fantastic chance to double the Dabbers lead after being left unmarked in the area however Cammell Laird keeper Michael Dixon made a smart stop.

First-half - first Nantwich goal - Sean Cooke penalty (1)

Sean Cooke penalty

The Lairds had their first clear sight of goal close to the half hour mark after some sloppy Nantwich play at the back, but Josh Donnelly could only drag his effort wide.

Moments after that miss, the Dabbers made it two when Malkin and Cooke linked up again before feeding Matt Bell on the edge of the box who fired low past a diving Dixon into the bottom left corner.

Five minutes before half-time, Cammell Laird found a way back into the contest.

A silly foul to give away allowed Josh Brabin to rifle home a free-kick which flew past Lloyd Allinson in the Nantwich goal.

First-half - second Nantwich goal - scorer Matt Bell celebrates (1)

Scorer Matt Bell celebrates

The next goal after half-time was going to be crucial, and after knocking at the door early on, Saunders got his first of the night following a superb floated Bell cross which found the striker unmarked at the back post to powerfully head home.

Cammell Laird made an attacking change with the hopes of making a response however on 66 minutes it was four.

Louis Barnes and Saunders this time combined on the left-hand side before the striker’s drilled ball into the six-yard box found its way to Malkin who made no mistake from close range.

Just as the game looked over, Cammell Laird hit back from another set-piece.

Second-half - third Nantwich goal - Callum Saunders celebrates his goal (1)

Callum Saunders celebrates his goal

Caleb Jones got away from Jamie Morgan and won a free-kick at a tight angle which Brabin again whipped into the box, evading everyone and flying past Allinson once more.

The game became much more end-to-end in the final 15 minutes.

However Nantwich responded perfectly to the goal, rounding off the scoring through Saunders after he was played in by Cooke on the left side of the box and, via a deflection, fired past a helpless Dixon.

The Dabbers supporters roared their side home to successive Cheshire Senior Cup triumphs.

Focus now switches back to the promotion push and a trip to Basford United on Saturday in the final Evo-Stik Premier Division regular season fixture before the play-offs begin next week (3pm kick-off).

Nantwich Town: Lloyd Allinson, Jamie Morgan, Louis Barnes, Joe Davis, Toby Mullarkey, Caspar Hughes (c) (James Lawrie 80’), Troy Bourne, Matt Bell, Joe Malkin (Danny Glover 69’), Sean Cooke (Ricardo Fuller 88’), Callum Saunders. Subs not used: James Hawkins (GK), Luke Walsh

(Images courtesy of Jonathan White)

Second-half - fourth Nantwich goal - Joe Malkin (1)

Fourth Nantwich goal – Joe Malkin

Second-half - fifth Nantwich goal - Callum Saunders (1)

Fifth Nantwich goal – Callum Saunders

Jamie Morgan shares the Cheshire Senior Cup with Dabbers fans (1)

Dabbers fans celebrate victory with the Cheshire Senior Cup (1)

Full-time - Manager Dave Cooke celebrates victory and applauds support from fans (1)

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