Trinity, looking smart in the new away kit, almost got off to a flier, both Liam King and Damian Reeves looking to latch onto balls through the middle, the final ball just skidding through to the goalkeeper. Reeves though did get on the end of some fine play involving Ashley Worsfold and Liam King, the skipper slipping Reeves in, only to see his effort blocked by Matt Bell.

Just before the twenty-minute mark, Bell went close for the hosts, his fierce drive from the edge of the box whistling wide. With the wind at our backs though, the Blues looked to cause problems and Troy Bourne picked up the first booking of the afternoon as Trinity threatened. Nantwich stopper: Will Jaaskelainen, had to be at his best to deny Alex Byrne. The Gainsborough man doing everything right to get the ball up and over the wall, right, his effort destined for the top corner, but the ‘keeper made up the ground to keep the scores level. Gainsborough threatened with a couple of further chances, but as the half drew to a close, the game became scrappy, punctuated by a number of free-kicks being awarded to both sides as the referee looked to stamp his authority on the match, to the ire of both sets of players. Half time, Nantwich Town 0 Gainsborough Trinity 0.

Alex Byrne was instrumental in all the good work for the Blues, his wicked cross two minutes into the second half appearing to strike the arm of the Dabbers’ full back Jamie Morgan, but the appeals were waved away. Undeterred, the Blues threatened again, last season’s top scorer twice going close for the visitors. First Worsfold saw an ambitious effort deflect inches wide of Jaaskelainen’s left hand upright, before his low effort was gathered by the home goalkeeper at the near post, after he had created half a yard in the Nantwich box.

Callum Saunders’ influence was growing in the build up to Stainfield’s dismissal, and with the wind at their back, the Dabbers were causing the visitors issues, clever footwork got Saunders into a good position, before he dragged his shot wide of the near post, then a long clearance downfield from Jaaskelainen deceived the Trinity man, who felled Saunders & Mr Baines had no hesitation in brandishing the red card. Saunders himself took the resulting free-kick, but lashed his effort disappointingly over the bar.

Nantwich made a couple of changes, introducing Joe Mwasile & Steve Jones who added pace and directness, which created room for others and led to midfielder Bell unleashing a powerful effort that Jon Stewart did well to save, before Saunders’ follow up effort was bravely blocked.

Two minutes from time, Neil Austin defended well at the back post as Town substitute, Nathan Cotterill shaped to shoot, the ball falling kindly for the Dabbers other substitute, Jones - who saw his left footed curling effort sail narrowly wide of the target. As the game edged into injury time, Trinity were being pinned back, but looked to be holding on, until Joe Mwsalie’s deep cross from the right was headed back across goal by Callum Saunders and gleefully nodded into the empty net by Steve Jones to break the hearts of the travelling Trinity faithful. Full time, Nantwich Town 1 Gainsborough Trinity 0.

Teams & Schemes

Nantwich Town: Will Jaaskelainen, Jamie Morgan, Louis Barnes, Joel Stair, Troy Bourne, Casper Hughes, Jordan Davies (Joe Mwasile 68) Matt Bell, Danny Glover (Steve Jones 76) James Lawrie (Nathan Cotterill 61) Callum Saunders. Subs not used: Joe Malkin, Clayton McDonald.

Gainsborough Trinity: Jon Stewart, Neil Austin, Ben Gordon, Shane Clarke (Simon Russell 89), Ioan Evans, Nathan Stainfield, Alex Byrne, Liam King, Ashley Worsfold, Damian Reeves (Ross Hannah), Alex Simmons (Joe Maguire 71). Subs not used: Cameron Hough & Elliot Wilson.

Attendance: 307

Match report by Josh Dainty
Photos by John Rudkin (johnrudkin999) - Gainsborough Trinity Photographer