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1st Team - Match centre

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Witton Albion
Nantwich Town
R Hopley (27', 50')
Full time
Mon 27 Aug 15:00 - The Evo-Stik League - Premier Division Attendance 357

Rob's Double Topples The Leaders

Match Report kindly supplied by: Andrew Simpson, Senior Sports Writer, Mid-Cheshire Guardian series -

IT wasn’t supposed to be this straightforward for Witton Albion.
Their guests arrived in town occupying top spot in the table and buoyed by putting five goals past their previous opponents to get them there. The Dabbers left defeated and without leaving even a dent in their hosts’ defence.
Despite ending the contest with a list of attackers on the field, they only called Greg Hall into action when substitute Craig Lindfield scooped an effort into the goalkeeper’s hands in added time. By then Carl Macauley had long pulled down the shutters, sensing that a two-goal lead established by captain Rob Hopley’s brace would be enough to claim maximum points.
It was, and comfortably so. Albion’s manager will have been irked, if only slightly, that his side weren’t out of sight before the front man opened his account for a new season on 27 minutes. He met James Foley’s corner, which dipped at exactly the right moment, with a firm jab of his right foot.
Witton had carved open Nantwich’s defence, shorn of Joel Stair and Louis Barnes after they suffered injuries at the weekend, as early as the eighth minute. A slick interchange left Tom Owens alone with only custodian Will Jaaskelainen to beat, and the midfielder fired straight at him.
Foley’s attempt from the rebound was helped over by the Dabbers’ number one. A second glorious chance followed when Hopley and Foley combined, the latter serving Will Jones who blazed high with a clear sight of goal.
In between, Hall had smothered Callum Saunders’ shot from an angle after the striker had been picked out by Toby Mullarkey’s pass. The visitors conjured their best chance on 33 minutes when Troy Bourne’s lofted ball reached Saunders, and Hall blocked brilliantly. Danny Glover than flashed an acrobatic attempt wide of an upright from Joe Mwasile’s cross.
Witton took control again after the interval, and Hopley planted a firm shot out of Jaaskelainen’s reach to double his side’s lead after a free-kick had been diverted his way.
The visitors responded by sending on Lindfield, although his first contribution was to receive a caution after flattening Foley. Instead Albion looked more threatening, and Bourne’s perfectly-timed block thwarted Jones after James Yates curved a glorious pass into his path.
Nantwich boss Dave Cooke responded by sending on Joe Malkin and Jordan Davies, and switched to a three-man defence. It nearly brought a dividend when the former, a target for Witton after finishing as leading goal-scorer at Cammell Laird last season, flashed a header wide from a James Lawrie corner.
The Dabbers rained crosses into Albion’s penalty area for the game’s remainder, almost all of them collected by Hall. He wanted to claim a second shut-out of the weekend, one that has yielded maximum points for his improving side.
Witton | 4-4-2 | Hall (GK), Yates, Humphreys, Wardle, Devine, Foley, Cesaire, Owens, McKenna, Hopley, Jones (Gardner 80) Subs not used Wilson, Noone, Moore (GK) Goals Hopley 27, 50
Nantwich |4-4-2 | Jaaskelainen (GK), Morgan, Bourne, McDonald (Lindfield 51), Cotterell (Malkin 67), Mwasile (Davies 67), Mullarkey, Hughes, Lawrie, Glover, Saunders Subs not used O’Riordan, Hawkins (GK) Booked Lindfield, Glover (both fouls), Saunders (simulation)
Referee Daniel Hitchell Attendance 357

Match Photographs by Keith Clayton & Karl Brooks Photography

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Key moments

Goal Rob Hopley scores for Witton Albion
Goal Rob Hopley scores for Witton Albion


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90:00 +4:00 Clean Sheet Bonus
Greg Hall keeps a clean sheet for Witton Albion
80:00 Sub On
Anthony Gardner is substituted on for Witton Albion
80:00 Sub Off
Will Jones is substituted off for Witton Albion
50:00 Goal 2 - 0
Rob Hopley scores for Witton Albion
End of period 1
27:00 Goal 1 - 0
Rob Hopley scores for Witton Albion
Start of the game
Replay game

As it happened

  • Witton Albion
  • Nantwich Town
  • 0
  • Rob Hopley Goal 27:00'
  • Rob Hopley Goal 50:00'
  • Will Jones Sub Off 80:00'
  • Anthony Gardner Sub On 80:00'

Team selection

Hall, Greg Hall, Greg
Yates, James Yates, James
Humphreys , River Humphreys , River
Foley, James Foley, James
Wardle, Josh Wardle, Josh
Devine, Matty Devine, Matty
Owens, Tom Owens, Tom
Lingouba, Cesaire Lingouba, Cesaire
Jones, Will Jones, Will
Hopley, Rob Hopley, Rob
McKenna, Danny McKenna, Danny

League round up

Other Premier Division results

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Hednesford Town
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Whitby Town
Stafford Rangers
Mickleover Sports
Stalybridge Celtic


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League table

# Team Pl Pts
12. Whitby Town 27 36
13. Bamber Bridge 26 33
14. Witton Albion 24 32
15. Grantham Town 27 32
16. Hednesford Town 28 31
17. Marine 27 29
18. Mickleover Sports 28 29

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