Second-half - first Nantwich goal - penalty - James Lawrie celebrates (1)

A brace from James Lawrie helped Nantwich Town ease to a third pre-season friendly win away at Sandbach, writes Jack Beresford.

Dave Cooke was able to name a strong side in the first half of their short trip across South Cheshire, despite having injuries in their squad.

Nantwich’s new Argentinian midfielder Carlos “Thommy” Montefiori has been a real bright spark and it only took him five minutes to stamp his mark on the game.

A cross from the left was headed away, however it was only cleared as far as Thommy who was on the edge of the area.

The Argentinian controlled the ball with his chest before volleying into the far-left corner.

Thirteen minutes later the hosts had their first opportunity as Robbie Hatton drove into the box before teeing up Tom Williams who blazed his effort well over from just inside the area.

Sandbach were almost made to rue this missed opportunity as Connor Heath lined up a free kick from 25 yards but he couldn’t get enough dip on it as it clipped the top of the crossbar on its way over.

Two minutes later, The Dabbers doubled their lead.

Lawrie and Heath linked up well on the edge of the box, allowing Lawrie space to fire low into the far right corner.

Eric Merner in the Sandbach goal was at full stretch but couldn’t get near an excellent finish from the former Port Vale midfielder.

In the 39th minute Lawrie doubled his goal tally for the game in spectacular fashion.

He picked up the ball inside his own half, spotted Merner off his line and expertly lobbed the Sandbach keeper from inside the centre circle.

The second half didn’t live up the quality of the first.

Both sides made a lot of changes and new players took a while to find their feet and get into the game.

It took until the 70th minute to see the first effort of the half.

A cross from the left from Jack Wood missed everyone and flew over the keeper before crashing off the post and nestling in the back of the net.

The game was now all but over at 4-0 and only six minutes left on the clock.

However, in the 85th minute the hosts won a penalty after Matty Pearson was pushed in the box by Jack Wood.

Hatton stepped up and slotted it into the bottom right corner to get his side on the scoresheet.

Soon after the hosts scored a second when Callum exquisitely timed through ball found Hatton who finished calmly as he slotted it into the bottom corner.

Next up for The Dabbers is Whitchurch Alport at home on Saturday July 24 in the Eddie Morris Memorial Trophy.

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