Source: This is Staffordshire
Tuesday, April 14, 2009, 08:39
UniBond League Premier Division
FC United of Manchester 0
Nantwich Town 0
NANTWICH returned from a sun-bathed Gigg Lane with a useful point from an enthralling encounter with FC United.
It was just reward for a hard-working display against the league's form side and keeps the Dabbers in the play-off zone with games in hand.
Despite the lack of goals, the all-action clash provided excellent entertainment for a crowd of almost 3,000 fans.
Nantwich shaded a hustle and bustle first half, but the Rebels cranked up the ante after the break and the Dabbers had to work hard to ensure their share of the spoils.
Early on, Nantwich had looked the more threatening of the two sides.
Former Crewe Alex winger Rodney Jack led United right-back Adam Carden a merry dance with his pace and trickery and was a constant threat in the first period.
He also unleashed a sizzling drive that rasped over the bar.
Nantwich's best chances, however, fell to Dave Walker, who was sent clear inside the United box by Michael Lennon just after the half-hour. Rebels' keeper Sam Ashton needed to spead himself well to block Walker's shot.
Soon after, Walker muscled in to get a toe on to a long clearance, looping the ball over Ashton only to see it bounce just wide of the target.
United came out all guns blazing after the break. Nicky Platt carved out a chance for Simon Carden, who forced a quality save from Lee Jones.
A minute later, there was a let-off for the Dabbers when Platt's curling shot bounced back off the underside of the bar with Jones stranded.
Adam Tong narrowly headed over his own bar from Lennon's cross as Nantwich counter-attacked, but it was the home side who were now on top.
Phil Marsh clipped the ball just wide of the target from the edge of the area and Nantwich survived a major scare when Carden's corner pinged between a handful of players just yards from goal before being scrambled clear.
For the visitors, substitute Andy Kinsey almost netted with his first touch, but his header from Dave Tickle's corner was booted off the line.
Referee Jason Whiteley then waved away two shouts for penalties as firstly FC appealed the ball had hit Darren Tinson's arm inside the box and again when Tickle tangled with Marsh on the six-yard line.
But Nantwich's hard-working defence thwarted FC's late surge and, when fortune was needed, the underside of the bar came to the rescue for a second time to deflect Jamie Baguley's free-kick with minutes remaining.
FC United: Ashton, A.Carden, Garner, Platt, Tong, Nugent, Roca (Baguley, 79), S Carden (Neville, 83), Marsh, Wright, Moses (Chadwick, 67). Not used: Williams, Dieyte.
Nantwich: Jones, Beeston, Tickle, Tinson, O'Loughlin, Blackhurst (Parkinson, 79), Carter, MacPherson, Walker (Kinsey, 70), Lennon, Jack (Gibson, 83). Not used: Whittaker, Hawthorne.