Cheshire Senior Cup Final - Nantwich Town 5 Cammell Laird 1907 2

Wed 24th April 2019 | County Cup Competitions
By Ian Templeman

Despite a spirited performance, there was ultimately no cup glory for Cammell Laird 1907 as they fell to defeat against Nantwich Town in the Cheshire Senior Cup final at Altrincham’s J. Davidson Stadium.

The gulf of 74 places and three divisions between the teams had always looked likely to be a tough one for Lairds to bridge, but it took until the midway point in the second half before their Evo-Stik League opponents began to take control.

Lairds were still very much in the game at half time, with a Josh Brabin free-kick getting them back in the game after Nantwich had built a two goal lead thanks to a penalty from Sean Cooke and a second goal from Matt Bell.

But although they held their own for long spells, they were unable to cope with the firepower of a team that will finish 4th in the Evo-Stik League Premier Division and once Nantwich had built a 4-1 lead going into the final 20 minutes, there was never any doubt about the final outcome.

To their credit, Lairds kept going and arguably created their best chances of the game in the closing minutes.

But in the end it was Nantwich who lifted the trophy for the second season in succession, following on from their 3-0 defeat of Stockport Town in last season's final.

Lairds began the game well, and it was rather against the run of play that Nantwich Town took the lead in the 9th minute from the penalty spot.

Neat play from Sean Cooke sent Callum Saunders into the box, and when the striker was pulled back by Liam Hollett and the referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot.

Cook converted the spot kick convincingly to give the Dabbers an early advantage, driving the ball straight down the middle of the goal.

Two minutes later Nantwich striker Joe Malkin, who joined the Dabbers from Lairds in the summer, almost doubled his side's advantage when he picked up a fine pass from Matt Bell and advanced in on goal, but Lairds keeper Dixon was out quickly to make a good save.

Dixon was again called into action on 17 minutes when he made a fine blocking save from a Saunders effort, and Lairds' first chance of note arrived on 27 minutes, when Josh Donnelly evaded his marker to get a shot in but dragged the effort just wide.

As the game approached the half hour mark, Nantwich doubled their advantage when Malkin and Cooke combined to set up Matt Bell with a shooting chance on the edge of the box, and the Dabbers buried a well struck shot low into the bottom left hand corner.

But Lairds gave themselves a lifeline when they pulled a goal back six minutes from half time, with a superbly struck 20 yard free kick from Josh Brabin giving Allinson in the Nantwich goal no chance.

Lairds finished the half on the front foot when a set piece again caused a threat, this time Adam Rooney heading over the bar to end the half for Lairds on a positive note.

But the Dabbers restored their two goal lead just before the hour mark, when a cross into the Lairds box from Sean Cooke found Callum Saunders in space at the back post, and he had time to pick his spot with a powerful header into the bottom right corner to put Nantwich 3-1 up.

Seven minutes later Malkin delivered a hammer blow to his former club with Nantwich's fourth goal, turning the ball home from close range after good lead up play from Barnes and Saunders.

With 16 minutes remaining, Lairds reduced the deficit once again, when Ste Rothwell got on the end of a Brabin free kick to bring the score back to 4-2.

But Nantwich rounded off their victory with a fifth goal ten minutes from the end, Callum Saunders bagging his second of the night from a tight angle, with a shot that took a deflection on its way past Dixon in the Lairds goal.

Our Sponsors & Partners

Our Sponsors & Partners