Trafford 3 Nantwich Town 2
NANTWICH Town boss Steve Davis is looking to bring in experience to guide his young players through a sticky spell.
The Dabbers are yet to win in 2005. They fought back gallantly from 2-0 down at seventh-placed Trafford on Saturday, only to concede again with 13 minutes left.
Although Davis is happy with the courage and endeavour his fledglings are displaying on the field, he concedes some extra know-how against older sides may be needed.
He said: 'I prefer to look at the positives and the truth is we put in a really good second half performance. Unfortunately, by then, we were already fighting an uphill battle after being punished for a lacklustre start.
'That has happened a few times in recent weeks and the lads are a bit subdued and quiet. That can be the case with so many young players, and we have missed the likes of (suspended) John Scarlett, who brings that experience. I may have to see if I can bring in a few wiser heads to get the bubbly atmosphere in the dressing room going again.
'If you go through a run of poor results players can go into their shells a little bit, and that is happening. Some of them are low on confidence, but it is up to them to start firing again.'
Sloppy defending allowed the home side to race into a 2-0 lead inside 43 minutes, but a Danny Griggs penalty on the stroke of half time reduced the deficit. The lively Matt Blake made it all-square with a neat run and finish on 67 minutes, and the Dabbers' tails were up. But a hopeful punt down the pitch on 77 minutes dumbfounded the Nantwich back-line and Dickenson nipped in for the winner.
Things showed no sign of getting any easier for Nantwich, as a trip to second-placed high flyers St Helens Town is on the agenda for Saturday.
However, Davis said: 'It will be tough but I can honestly say we are looking forward to it. I can never fault the players for effort and they have given me that in every game.
'We have actually played well against the top sides, so we will give it everything. It will be a good measure for ourselves and we want to upset the league a little bit.'
He added: 'It may be time I gave Matty Blake a run in the side. He has looked lively in the past couple of games, took his goal well against Trafford, and has got skill and pace. He looks to have formed a partnership with Danny (Griggs), but Paul Rutter has scored goals for us this season, so I'd like to play him as well.
'It would be good if I could find a way of playing with all three, but I am not sure it would suit us. It is something I am looking at because I want to give Matt his shot at it.'
Nantwich Town Reserves got a vital three points when they beat Billinge 5-2 away on Saturday.