Nantwich Town booked their place in the second round of the FA Trophy with a 3-1 victory over Workington Town – but boss Dave Cooke admits the scoreline doesn’t tell the whole story.
It was the Dabbers’ first competitive game for a month following the temporary suspension of the non-league game due to the coronavirus pandemic, and they overcame a stern test from their Cumbrian visitors.
Workington play in the Northern Premier League North West Division, the league below Nantwich, but came in to the contest on the back of seven successive wins in all competitions.
Callum Saunders and Scott McGowan put Nantwich 2-0 up inside 31 minutes, but Connor Tinnion replied from the penalty spot after 77.
Workington pushed for a leveller, but McGowan grabbed his second of Tuesday’s tie in the final minute to send the Dabbers through.
“It wasn’t an easy game,” said Cooke, whose side had played Winsford in a friendly last Saturday to build up their match fitness.
“Workington had won seven on the bounce and had more possession than us.
“They might be in the division below, but they are a very good team.
“It was a crazy game because we normally have large parts of the play – that’s how we set up – but they actually out-footballed us.
“Luckily we scored twice in the first half, but Workington were strong in the second half. The final score flattered us.
“They were knocking on the door in the closing stages, but we broke away to net a third.
“Last Saturday’s friendly was a useful work-out for us and everyone played at least 45 minutes, which certainly helped us going in to the Workington game.”
Cooke reserved praise for double hero McGowan after he netted his first goals for the club.
The striker joined Nantwich from 1874 Northwich in October following a remarkable scoring stint with saw him net 128 times in 189 appearances for the North West Counties League club.
“I had been after Scott for a while because he’s a goal machine,” added Cooke.
“Scott was wondering whether he was good enough to play at our level, but I reassured him that he was.
“I had every confidence in him. If you are a goalscorer, you are a goalscorer and it’s our job to create chances.
“If we do, he will tuck them away.”
Nantwich will travel to either Witton Albion or Bamber Bridge in the second round on Tuesday. They play their first-round tie on Saturday.
And the victors of that round two fixture will then entertain either Hereford or St Neots in the third round on Saturday, December 19 following yesterday’s double draw.
“Hereford are a former league club and have got a lot of history,” said Cooke.
“But we can’t look too far ahead. Witton or Bamber Bridge will be tough and they’re both in our league.
“I will be taking a trip to watch the game on Saturday, even though we know a lot about them. It’s always good to see them in the flesh.”
· KIDSGROVE ATHLETIC’S FA Trophy first-round tie against Stamford on Tuesday was called off because of a waterlogged pitch at the Autonet Stadium.
The two Northern Premier League South East Division teams will try again on Saturday.
The winners will entertain Kidderminster Harriers in the second round next Tuesday night.
Whoever wins that tie will then receive a bye in to the fourth round after Macclesfield Town withdrew from the competition.