First-half - Carlos “Thommy” Montefiori celebrates scoring his first goal for the Dabbers with David Webb (1)

Nantwich Town began preparations for the 2021/22 season with a 3-0 victory at home to Cymru North side Gresford Athletic, writes Jack Beresford.

The Dabbers side has not changed too much from the one that featured against Hereford in Nantwich’s final game of the 2020/21 season.

So far, there has only been two departures as full back Mike Koral and forward Scott McGowan have both re-joined 1874 Northwich following their promotion to the Northern Premier League.

There has also been one addition to Dave Cooke’s side as Carlos “Thommy” Montefiori has joined the club from Crewe Alexandra’s academy.

It was Thommy who had the first opportunity of the game for The Dabbers.

Four minutes in, The Argentinian picked up the ball on the edge of the box before dancing his way past a few tackles.

However, when he eventually made space for a shot it was weak and straight at the keeper who saved easily.

Five minutes later The Dabbers scored their first goal of the 2021/22 Pre-Season campaign.

James Lawrie showed excellent skill on the edge of the box to work some space and find David Webb who showed great footwork to weave his way into the box, before finding Thommy who calmy found the bottom left corner to score his first ever goal in a Nantwich shirt.

First-half - Gresford Athletic keeper rises to grab the ball (1)

After a very lively opening ten minutes the game settled down as both sides began to get a feel of the ball and string a succession of passes together.

In fact, it took until the 26th minute for the game to see its next effort on goal and for The Dabbers, it was well worth the wait.

A corner from the left wasn’t dealt with by the Gresford defence allowing Joe Mwasile to poke home from very close range to double his sides lead inside 30 minutes.

Cooke’s men were playing some really good football and they were looking a real threat when they went on the attack.

In the 32nd minute, they tried to catch the visitors on the break as Lawrie galloped forward with real intent, his low cross from the right side found Mwasile who took a heavy touch but thankfully it fell to Joe Malkin who saw his shot from the right was turned round the near post by the keeper.

The second half XI was very different to the side who played the first half with Cooke changing almost all of his outfield players.

These players took a while to find their feet and grow into the game and it took 25 minutes for a shot in anger to be registered, Connor Heath let fly from 25 yards, but it was straight at the keeper who had no trouble holding onto the ball.

First-half - Carlos “Thommy” Montefiori scores his first goal for the Dabbers (1)

As the Nantwich players grew into the game, the chances were coming more often and in the 75th minute The Dabbers added a third goal.

Former Crewe Academy player Joe Thompson showed great skill on the edge of the box to tee up Callum Saunders who finished expertly from the left side of the box to put the game to bed.

In the 80th minute the visitors had an effort of their own after a corner was cleared as far as the number 6 on the edge of the box who took a touch before striking towards goal, but it was well tipped over by the keeper.

Two minutes later Gresford scored a consolation goal after the referee awarded them an in-direct freekick following a back-pass.

Athletic made the most of this as they rifled home from close range to give the 10 Nantwich players on the line absolutely no chance.

It was a good run out for both sets of players who would have benefited from game time.

Next up for Nantwich is a visit from League One neighbours, Crewe Alexandra.

(Images courtesy of Jonathan White)

Second-half - third Nantwich goal - Callum Saunders scores (1)

Second-half - Callum Parker eyes the ball (1) (1)

First-half - Gresford Athletic on the ball under pressure from Joe Mwasile (1)

First-half - Gresford Athletic challenge for the ball from Joe Mwasile (1)

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