Nantwich Town hit Stafford Rangers for four on Boxing Day

Crewe Guardian: Dabbers in action against Stafford. Pictures: Simon J Newbury Photography Dabbers in action against Stafford. Pictures: Simon J Newbury Photography

Nantwich Town 4 Stafford Rangers 1

NANTWICH winger Osebi Abadaki grabbed the man-of-the-match award for joining strikers Ben Deegan, Steve Foster and Aaron Burns on the scoresheet against a porous Stafford.

While the result certainly went the Dabbers’ way, manager Danny Johnson believes his side have to be better than they showed against Rangers if they are to break into the top eight of the Evo-Stik Premier Division.

“At this stage of the season over Christmas when the games come thick and fast you take 4-1,” he said.

“I just said to the lads in the changing rooms at the end of the game it’s about standards and the amount of chances we created, not just in the second half but the first half as well, we should have been out of sight at half time.

“Jack Cudworth’s rarely been tested apart from the goal, but we brought problems on ourselves.

“I think if we are to get in the top eight we’ve got to be better than we were today.

“I don’t think better teams will allow us to be that bad.

“Having said that our attacking football at times was breathtaking.”

To that end, Stafford’s ex-Dabber Jon Brain was kept busy throughout, making a low save to deny Nantwich’s Foster on 12 minutes after Mark Jones had lofted a ball over Stafford’s back line.

A minute later Nantwich winger Abadaki profited from a good Mark Jones throughball to slot home an opener with ice-cold nerve.

Andrew Griffiths glanced in a header from a Sean Kinsella freekick over an out-rushing Jack Cudworth to level on 16 minutes.

On 36 minutes Foster set up Harry Clayton in a period which displayed the home side’s creative superiority – it was just a shame the Dabbers’ finishing was below-par.

Oliver Devenney headed over from an Abadaki cross on 39 minutes, while a few minutes later Deegan somehow headed against the post with the goal gaping and Nantwich defender, Sam Wilson, did little better when blazing over from the rebound.

Deegan made up for that earlier miss by forcing the ball home on 47 minutes, giving the Dabbers a deserved lead.

Abadaki had been brilliant in attack in the first 57 minutes, causing the Rangers defence constant problems with his skilful dribbling Stafford’s Oliver Davies should have pegged it back on the hour after putting Earl Davis on his backside, but blazed over to the Dabbers fans’ relief.

The pick of the goals came from Foster on 66 minutes, Deegan’s fine pass playing him through while the ex-Witton striker’s chip was just as easy on the eye.

Abadaki showed his blistering pace again on 71 minutes to skin a Stafford defender and play in substitute Aaron Burns, but the pass was too heavy and Burns’ eventual shot from an angle was fumbled away.

Burns went through again moments later and Stafford captain Darren Bullock could not resist clattering him from behind in the penalty area, resulting in the defender seeing red and Burns converting the subsequent spot kick.

Nantwich Town: Jack Cudworth, Sam Wilson, Andy White, Mark Jones , Alex Frost, Adam Jones (Earl Davis 48), Harry Clayton, Oliver Devenney (Andrew Keogh 79), Ben Deegan (Aaron Burns 67) Steve Foster, Osebi Abadaki. Subs not used: Max Harrop, Andrew Pearson.

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