Friday, February 06, 2009

Change of formation pays off

7:38pm Thursday 5th February 2009

Nantwich Town 2 Frickley Athletic 2

STEVE Davis will be looking for an improvement when Nantwich Town entertain FC United in Saturday’s UniBond Premier top-of-the-table clash at The Weaver Stadium.

He said he has to be satisfied with a point from the lacklustre display in the weekend’s draw with Frickley.

“I am afraid we carried four to five players,” he said.

“And with teams coming here now and simply placing most of their players behind the ball our task is that much greater if we don’t operate as a unit from start to finish.

“The change to 3-5-2 paid off and Blacky’s energetic running was just the spark we needed. Otherwise, we were lethargic for the most part and have to be satisfied with a point.”

The Dabbers were boosted by the return of Charlie O’Loughlin, Rob Hawthorne and Glyn Blackhurst from injury and showed promise.

They pressed and took the lead in the 11th minute through Dave Walker’s 20th goal of the season after an intitial break and lofted cross from Richard Smith.

A defensive error cost Nantwich in the 18th minute when Frickley took advantage of slack marking to level the match, with Darren Clarke beating Jones from 12 yards.

Chances came to re-take the lead and although Nantwich’s work rate was high, it lacked an edge.
Action was scrappy at the start of the second half, with Frickley plugging away in an effort to profit from mistakes.

And profit they did in the 57th minute, albeit through an own goal with O’Loughlin inadvertently heading it into the roof of the net.

Almost immediately Nantwich changed their system to 3-5-2, with Francis sacrificed and Blackhurst coming on to add thrust to the midfield.

The change did the job and Blackhurst’s eagerness to inject life into the flagging Dabbers paid dividend in the 65th minute when his knock down into the path of Lennon from a Griggs corner was driven into the roof of the net, also handing Lennon his 20th goal of the season.

Nantwich: Jones, Smith, Francis, Tinson, O’Loughlin, Beeston, Carter, Macpherson, Walker, Lennon, Griggs. Subs: Gibson, Blackhurst, Tickle, Hawthorne, Jack.