Nantwich Town at Stalybridge Celtic (1)

An extraordinary finish saw Nantwich Town concede twice in stoppage time to lose 3-2 to Stalybridge Celtic at Bower Fold, writes Liam Price.

The hosts showed off four new signings in their XI in front of 847 supporters including a healthy following from the Dabbers.

Stalybridge could have taken the lead just two minutes in as a free kick was whipped across goal, it missed everyone and went narrowly wide.

But the Dabbers’ sharp start was rewarded after only eight minutes.

Steven Hewitt found the head of Byron Harrison from a free kick on the left side, and he nodded it past the reach of Luke Hewitson ending the travelling Dabbers fans into raptures.

Nantwich had opportunities to extend the lead.

Harrison was in a good position again, winning the bounce of the ball and spotting Hewitson off his line, but his lob was over the bar.

Celtic’s top scorer Aaron Dwyer cut inside from the left and pulled a shot wide, before an interception from Nathan Okome created an opportunity for him but the shot was blocked.

Connor Rankin then scuffed wide as the Dabbers continued strongly. But a twist was to come just three minutes before the break.

The ball pinged around in the box and hit a hand. The referee pointed straight to the spot.

Shouts of handball could be heard from the Nantwich side as they thought the ball hit a Stalybridge hand.

Paul Carden said after that the ball hit a home player’s hand and then the hand of Hewitt, the man who was penalised.

Former Dabber Max Harrop stepped up and scored from the spot, Danny Roberts going the right way but could not keep it out.

The second half started in the same vein, with Nantwich on top and a goal to show for it.

This one also came from Harrison after a set piece.

The first ball in was not cleared and Sean Cooke got a shot in that was saved out to Harrison who had an easy tap in.

Tyler Hill made a good clearance as Celtic tried to hit back again, before Kai Evans, off the bench, was bright in winning the ball high and crossing just over the head of Connor Rankin.

Harrop forced Roberts into a tricky save on the second attempt from a dipping effort.

As the game progressed and time ticked down Stalybridge started to build and Nantwich started to look nervous.

Celtic sub Obua Mugalula somehow managed to miss with the goal apparently gaping.

Then Roberts made a brilliant save from another former Dabber, Joe Robbins, who was making his debut for the hosts.

Hewitt curled a free kick narrowly wide on 89 minutes, before an offside Stalybridge player hit the post on 90.

Seven minutes were then added on.

In the third of those minutes, Stalybridge equalised.

Nantwich could not clear their lines and Darius Osei, another debutant, squeezed in from no distance.

Emboldened, Celtic pressed on again.

It saw Max Leonard make a wild challenge on Evans that Carden said afterwards should have resulted in a red card.

A pair of Hewitt free kicks could not find the target, the second onto the roof of the net.

But with the very last move of the game, in the eighth additional minute for the delays from the equaliser, saw them win it.

Sub Jack Irlam tucked in to complete the Dabbers’ capitulation.

The next home game for the Dabbers is against Runcorn Town in the Cheshire Senior Cup on Tuesday November 14, then the FA Trophy tie against Chester on November 18.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

By using this form you agree with the storage and handling of your data by this website, to learn more please read our privacy policy.


Captcha * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.