Leek Town - First-half - James Lawrie fights for the ball (2) (1)

Nantwich Town and Leek Town played out a hard fought but ultimately fruitless goalless draw at the Optimum Pay Stadium, writes Liam Price.

Former Dabber Will Saxon started for the visitors and nearly got through on goal after six minutes, Cameron Terry was off his line quickly to claim.

Sean Cooke was involved in most of the Dabbers’ most effective moves, and had a couple of sighters in the first 20 minutes that did not trouble the Leek goalkeeper.

Ben Harrison started up front for the second game in succession, an unfamiliar role and one that was made harder by his namesake Olly Harrison for Leek who marshalled him well throughout.

Jack Wakefield was a dangerous figure for the visitors, switching wings a couple of times and having efforts from both sides, the first off his left foot curled over, and another from the left wing pulled just wide of Terry’s right hand post.

Olly Harrison missed a free header a few minutes later, seemingly completely missing the ball and seeing it go wide when it should have gone in.

Saxon continued the good start for Leek, picking up a loose ball and hitting across goal, Terry making an excellent save to deny him.

Then a bolt from the blue from Leek striker Tim Grice, smashing the post with a thunderous volley from nothing, Terry rooted to his spot.

It was a good half from a Leek side who have been extremely unlucky with the two cancelled seasons where they were looking like strong promotion contenders to join the Dabbers in the Northern Premier League.

The Dabbers needed to respond and did in the second half, but not without escaping some more tight moments.

Cooke again tested Roberts in the Leek goal, then a good move down the right saw the ball run out to sub Louis Danquah, but he misjudged his effort and sliced horribly high and wide.

Another Cooke shot on target was followed by a poor giveaway that threatened to kill the growing momentum, Wakefield charged through for Leek and thumped the underside of the crossbar.

Dan Trickett-Smith tried to catch Nantwich out with a low free-kick but Terry was alert to hold, then arguably the best Dabbers chance came with seven minutes left.

A ball was whipped in from the right was flicked at goal by Jimmy Lawrie but he just got under it and over it went.

And that was that, a second 0-0 of pre-season and just one more game to go against Chester before the real stuff gets underway.

(Images courtesy of Jonathan White)

Second-half - Dabbers cross the ball in front of The Swansway Stand (1)

Second-half - Leek Town keeper reaches for the ball under pressure from Ben Harrison (1)

Pre-match - l-r - Leek Town Manager Neil Baker shakes hands with Nantwich Town Manager Dave Cooke (1)

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