Second-half - Joe Malkin rises the highest to head at goal (1)Second-half - Joe Malkin rises the highest to head at goal (1)

Nantwich Town’s struggling form in the league continued last night as two second half goals helped Lancaster City to a 2-0 win at the Optimum Pay Stadium.

Charlie Reid had the first attempt of the match for the visitors, heading wide from a dinked ball across the box.

There were opportunities and decent spells for both sides, Sean Cooke hitting a free kick against the Lancaster wall, and Simon Wills heading straight at Andy Wycherley.

Charlie Bailey’s deflected shot looped up and over the crossbar as Wycherley could only watch, but it all looked destined to be goalless at half-time until a big Dabbers chance.

New Lancaster keeper Wyll Stanway horribly mishit a clearance low and right to the feet of Cooke.

He adjusted well and expertly lobbed the stranded Stanway, but the backspin on the ball meant that when it bounced before the goal-line, it held up rather than flew in.

That gave Lancaster a chance to clear off the line, so somehow it was 0-0 at the break.

Then, in a game of fine margins, the luck swung decisively to the visitors.

Second-half - Carlos “Thommy” Montefiori on the attack (1)
Second-half – Carlos “Thommy” Montefiori on the attack

This time it was Wycherley’s turn to shank a long ball from a free kick outside the penalty area, and it was Rhys Turner who was the grateful recipient, firing in to the open goal.

It was another individual error and goal conceded early in a second half, a bad habit the Dabbers are struggling to shake off.

They tried to respond as Cooke forced a good save from Stanway, but on the whole it was a lot of huffing and puffing with little to show.

And as Nantwich tried desperately to get back into the game, throwing more players up the pitch, they were caught with another sucker punch on 70 minutes.

A Lancaster break wasn’t sufficiently cleared, and it broke to a free Bailey to bury the ball past Wycherley.

There were half chances from headers from both Dan Cockerline and sub Joe Malkin but nothing to trouble Stanway.

The Dabbers slumped to another home defeat in the last home game of 2021 to end a year that has been largely one to forget at the Optimum Pay Stadium.

Nantwich remain second from bottom in the Northern Premier League and are firmly in a relegation battle.

(Report by Liam Price, images courtesy of Jonathan White)

Second-half - Dan Cockerline tees a shot which is saved by Lancaster keeper Wyll Stanway (1)
Second-half – Dan Cockerline tees a shot which is saved by Lancaster keeper Wyll Stanway
First-half - Lancaster captain Andrew Teague eyes the ball (1)
First-half – Lancaster captain Andrew Teague eyes the ball

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