Tinnion and McGee graft no enough to overcome the Dabbers
“We are just a shadow of our former selves,” was assistant manager David Hewson’s post match response following another inept showing from Reds ...
... as their promotion dream continues to disintegrate.
“The lack of desire and determination is hurting me and it is tough to take when there are no positives emerging from the game,” he added.
The end of the season cannot come soon enough for a squad who have watched the wheels come off the wagon in recent weeks yet, somehow, remain in contention. Hard to believe after suffering back-to-back league defeats for the first time this season, looking a spent force against a vibrant Nantwich team.
If the campaign had ended a month ago, we would have been lauding the players for a magnificent effort but a raft of injuries, and an obvious loss of form, means they now have to find three wins from somewhere and hope others, Ashton United and Stourbridge, falter.
An unlikely scenario and better to start planning for next season now and improving a squad which just wasn’t good enough this time.
Their build-up play was often neat and tidy but lacked a cutting edge in the final third and Nantwich’s Hungarian ‘keeper, Daniel Gyollai, enjoyed a trouble-free evening.
Matty Tymon failed to apply the finish after a good passing move created the opportunity and Rob Wilson shot wide after more good approach play. Scott Allison fell over and blazed wide, after being released by Tymon, then saw a goal-bound shot blocked while the outstanding Conor Tinnion couldn’t find the target with his less favoured right foot after his trademark body swerve left his marker in a heap.
All half chances which might have produced goals a few weeks ago, but not now with confidence at a low ebb.
The hosts, in contrast, looked much more potent and there was danger every they time ventured forward.
Liam Shotton got behind May through pure strength but watched his shot saved by Jonny Jamieson’s legs then saw a second effort narrowly miss the target. Jake Simpson cleared a Josh Hancock attempt off the line, with Jamieson smothering the follow-up shot, before Hancock sent another effort over the bar when it looked easier to score.
But they needed some suspect defending from Simpson and Jamieson to help with their opening goal five minutes before the interval. A diagonal ball should have been dealt with either by Reds’ ever present right-back or the ‘keeper but a moment’s hesitation, and a lack of communication, allowed Shotton to pick their pockets and roll the ball into an empty net.
Worryingly, it was the fifth goal in succession Reds had conceded via a comical defensive malfunction.
There was no doubt about the quality of the Dabbers second goal which effectively secured the points eleven minutes after the restart. Receiving the ball with his back to goal, Hancock turned swiftly and powered a thumping right foot shot past Jamieson from twenty five yards.
Hancock, nominated the sponsors’ man-of-the-match, almost made it three a minute later placing his shot just wide of Jamieson’s right hand post.
We then saw a tremendous effort from James Baillie with the thirty yard screamer clearing Jamieson’s crossbar by a matter of inches.
At the other end, Tymon blocked a Gyollai clearance only for the ball to cannon wide instead of into the net – typical of Reds luck at the moment. Then Allison headed meekly over after Simpson’s long throw created a rare opening. Josh Calvert shot wide from Reds’ only other chance of the second half.
Tinnion, back to his best, and Joe McGee worked tirelessly for the team but lacked the very basic support from their out-of-touch colleagues.
There was a moment to savour for Jamie Bethwaite (inset) who, after several unused stints on the bench, finally made his NPL debut. The defender impressed in the final twenty five minutes, epitomised by a brave goal-saving tackle on Ben Harrison preventing a certain third Town goal.
Reds are now four points behind Ashton United whom they visit on Saturday.
Nantwich Town: Gyollai, Jones, White (Cooke, 59), Moran, Bailey, Osborne (Bell, 61), Baillie, Hall, Shotton (Harrison, 88), Gordon, Hancock. Substitutes – Smith, Short (not used).
Workington: Jamieson, Simpson, Smith, May, Calvert, Wilson (Bethwaite, 68), McGee, Hammell (Hebson, 59), Allison, Tymon, Tinnion. Substitutes – McCartney, Studholme and Mitchell (not used).
Referee: Peter Gooch, Wigan
Bookings: Calvert, Hebson, McGee (Workington)