Paul Carden signs two year deal with Nantwich Town

Nantwich Town were beaten by a Michael Burkey hat-trick which helped Bootle come from behind to beat the Dabbers.

Nantwich started without recent signings Jacob Hamman and Cesaire Lingouba, both injured.

Lingouba’s dislocated toe at Mossley may yet keep him out for the rest of the season. This meant the quick signing of Finlay Heath, who was on the bench.

Despite this, Nantwich started well and took the lead as early as the second minute.

Kai Evans reacted quickest to a loose ball in the box to poke past Tony Thompson and take the acclaim of the travelling fans.

Craig Carney had the first effort for Bootle, dealt with by Scott Moloney.

The Dabbers then squandered a good chance to double the lead, Callum Saunders flicking an effort over the bar after Troy Bourne headed down a free kick.

Jay Roberts had a fine effort after cutting in from the right and curling the shot just away from the far top corner.

Bootle, unbeaten in four before this, were growing into the game, but Nantwich had more half chances to extend the lead and really pile the pressure on them.

Evans headed down into the path of Saunders who struck low from the angle and straight at Thompson.

Sonny Hilton, booked early on, hit a ferocious drive but Perry Bircumshaw bravely got his head behind it and it went away for a corner.

Sean Lawton then played Saunders in from his advanced wing back position, but he hit from an angle and it was easily held by Thompson.

Three minutes before half time, Bootle were level.

A cross from the right slipped through the hands of Moloney in what were heavy rain conditions.

Burkey lunged to poke it towards goal and Moloney frantically tried to push it away, but the referee gave the goal deeming it to be over the line.

The second half started badly for Nantwich.

On 48 minutes Conor Harwood snuck in behind and cleverly lobbed the ball over Moloney, he was unlucky to see it bounce off the bar and over.

Nantwich did not heed the warning and conceded just a minute later.

A simple move down the right saw the ball pulled back for Burkey to sweep home his second.

Nantwich boss Paul Carden brought on Heath for his debut, then Byron Harrison as the Dabbers went to a 4-3-3 with the wing backs sacrificed.

Finlay Heath new signing for Nantwich Town
Finlay Heath (pic courtesy of Nantwich Town)

Kai Evans tried to spark Nantwich back into life with a low zipping strike that was deflected for a corner before Meppen-Walters missed the target with an effort of his own.

The Dabbers couldn’t quite get truly going though, and made another big error on 72 minutes.

Meppen-Walters was caught in behind and Moloney tripped Ben Hodkinson in the box, conceding the penalty and getting a booking.

There was a reprieve though, as the Bucks’ top scorer Hodkinson hit the crossbar with his spot kick.

Then there was a massive chance for the Dabbers to draw level at the other end.

A ball in from the left fell to the feet of Harrison, who might have hit it first time but chose to take a touch and then hit it at Thompson who had already committed himself.

The killer blow fell from Bootle just tw0 minutes after that.

The formation change may have played a part again, Burkey facing his defender who didn’t know whether to engage or track the overlapping player, allowing Burkey to cut inside and curl into the top corner.

Akiel Raffie was the last Dabbers change and shot over the bar via a deflection as the Dabbers tried in vain to scramble back into the game.

It’s now six league away games without a win, and just three away league wins out of 14 all season.

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