Nantiwch Town 1
Matlock Town 1
NANTWICH Town keeper Steven James was in top form to earn the hosts a point against Matlock on Friday.
The Dabbers started without urgency and a failure to clear allowed Gladiators striker Danny Holland to power in from the edge of the area on 11 minutes. Holland could have quite easily had a hat-trick.
Once again Nantwich started the second half better and Alex Frost nodded in an Andy White cross on 49 minutes.
Nantwich escaped on 5 minutes when Matlock’s Holland diverted a cross onto James’ post in a bright opening from the away side.
Full back Micky Harcourt came close as well on seven minutes with a glancing header that swooped just wide.
Dabber Josh Eastwood made an early exit for Frost on nine minutes. He appeared to pick up an injury off the ball.
Holland finished emphatically on 11 minutes after the Dabbers defence struggled to clear following a slow start from the home side. It was a great finish by the former Bradford PA striker.
Sam Wilson could not follow a lifted pass on 18 minutes which allowed Massiah McDonald a chance but he took too long and Alex Meaney, one of the Dabbers’ better players again, cleared.
Gladiators captain, Liam Needham, blazed over on 43 minutes after the referee allowed play to continue when Alex Frost fouled Martin Foster.
First-half scorer Holland looped a header at the bar on 47 minutes completely unmarked.
Nantwich’s Frost scored with a header on 49 minutes from an Andy White freekick. The ball seemed to take forever to land but it beat Jon Kennedy nevertheless leaving the home crowd in delighted surprise.
Nantwich had struggled to create and the goal came from the least likely source.
Keeper James saved Frost’s blushes on 69 minutes when the scorer scuffed an apparent back pass in to the path of Holland who could not beat the Preston loan man.
Matlock’s Kennedy was nearly shown up by an extreme bobble on 76 minutes which bounced over him and goalward but the keeper just managed to recover and palm wide.
Full back White had a great chance to cap another impressive individual display on 79 minutes bursting in to the Matlock area but he fired over.
Nantwich Steven James, Josh Eastwood (Alex Frost 9), Andy White, Mark Jones (c), Earl Davis, Sam Wilson, Peter Green (Ben Deegan 63), Alex Meaney, Steve Foster (Aaron Burns 81), Harry Clayton, Nick Haughton. Subs not used Andy Keogh, Oliver Devenney.