Nineth penalty - Nantwich Town FC - Ahmed Ali celebrates victory (1)

Nantwich Town’s dedicated band of volunteers are gearing up for the biggest game in the club’s recent history, writes Paul Martin.

The Dabbers are looking to keep their memorable FA Trophy run going by causing a huge upset at National League high-flyers Solihull Moors in the fourth round tomorrow.

Nantwich have come through six ties to reach this stage, memorably disposing of local rivals Chester and fifth-tier York City along the way.

Adam Bateman, part of the club’s media team, moved to the area shortly after the club’s FA Vase triumph in 2006 and believes this run is having a similarly galvanising impact.

“This is absolutely massive and really significant in the history of the club,” he said.

“Personally, I can’t remember such a big game in my time here.

Adam Bateman - Nantwich v Solihull Moors
Adam Bateman

“We are going there full of confidence and if we win, it would really put us on the map.

“The York game was a rollercoaster ride and I went through every possible emotion.

“I couldn’t write that script – it was one of those days when everything went right. The only thing that could top it is tomorrow.

“It is already gobsmacking and business has definitely picked up at the club as a result.

“I can’t stop saying how unbelievable it’s been and I can’t praise the players highly enough.”

The Dabbers are expected to take around 400 travelling fans to the ARMCO Arena and will be confident should the tie go to spot-kicks.

They have won three successive shootouts as part of their run so far with the same player, Ahmed Ali, scoring the winning kick on each occasion.

Ali has since departed for Hednesford but Bateman, 39, remains confident of a positive result as he continues to immerse himself as a club he has supported for almost two decades before joining as a volunteer two and a half years ago.

Opportunities to get involved at non-league clubs across the country can be found on the Pitching In Volunteer Hub and Bateman has urged fans to do just that.

“I started going as a casual fan and the club just got hooked into my veins,” he said.

“Joining the media team has allowed me to see things from the other side of the fence, and interact with the players and the manager on a one to one level.

“You build personal relationships with people – I’ve made friends for life here – and you widen your field of knowledge.

“I can’t recommend it highly enough. If you get an opportunity to volunteer at a club, I would say absolutely do it.”

Find volunteering opportunities near you at

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