A Letter from Nantwich

May 2006

They are the champions . . . !

This has become what newspapers call a "busy page" - there is a lot on it - so here is a list of the additional items. Click on the one you want to be redirected to it: v the icing on the cake v a busy week  v Basil's brush with death  v A photogallery of the town's tribute to the Dabbers can be found here. v Memories of Jackson Avenue as it becomes a housing development
The Dabbers celebrate their victory

(Picture by ardent Dabbers fan, Gareth Roberts. See  below)

CONGRATULATIONS to the Dabbers (Nantwich Town F.C., if you prefer) in bringing the F.A. Vase to Nantwich. They made history on May 6 when they beat Hillingdon Borough 3-1 in the final of the 32nd F. A. Vase final at Birmingham F.C.'s ground, St Andrew's.

A total of 3,286 saw the game which was described as ". . . the biggest game in the club's 122-year history . . . " by the Nantwich Chronicle. The success means the Dabbers are the first Cheshire side to bring the trophy to the county.

   Despite its name, the Vase is a cup of reasonable size. Not quite as big as the F.A. Cup, maybe, but something well worth having in the Dabbers' trophy cabinet.  

   To say they reached the final was to understate their achievement - the competition began with 493 teams in contention for the title, and finally it was down to just two . . .

   Fortunately there was no need for a penalty shoot-out - which I always think is an unsatisfactory way of deciding a match (but what else can you do?). Goals came from Andy Kinsey (in the 14th and 68th minutes) and Stuart Scheuber (in the 30th). Unfortunately, Kinsey (captain for the day) dislocated his shoulder as he threw his shirt to the crowd to celebrate his goals.

   Quoted in the Mail on Sunday, Player-Manager Steve Davis said: "I've never seen anything like that before. He could get a club fine."  I doubt if that is going to knock the shine off Andy's day too much.      

    The whole town was surely behind the Dabbers on Saturday, whether they are club supporters, sports fans in general - or not. I must admit that I put myself in the last category - although I always like to know how the team (and, yes, even Crewe Alex) are doing.    

   I was rubbish in the compulsory football and cricket at school, and my lack of enthusiasm and skill showed in my junior reporter days on the Nantwich Guardian when I had to cover Dabber's games. What a nightmare that was - fine if there were goals to record, but I really struggled if it was 0-0 at the end of the game. The subtleties of the players' skills went over my head. And while I am not a sun lover, standing on a open pitch on a freezing winter's afternoon was not my idea of fun.

   Luckily for me, when I moved to the Chronicle, the sport was ably covered by Alan Jervis.  

   But enough of that . . .  Well done to Steve Davis and his men for bringing glory to the town.

   This week (w/e May 13) "town council chiefs" are talking about a tour of the town in an open-top bus and a party - a reception and buffet at the Civic Hall - the Nantwich Chronicle reports.

lNantwich Town officials will be glad of some different news to make the headlines. Their new 2million ground on Kingsley Fields (replacing the current Jackson Avenue site) has come under fire in recent months as the club asked for more funds - over and above the initial grant - from the local authorities to meet rising costs.

    A condition of the grant is that the club's car park will be available to the general public when it is not needed for fans. Mind you, it will hardly be a town centre car park situated where it is, so there might not be much call for it from general motorists.  

   The club is now awaiting planning permision from Crewe and Nantwich Borough Council and then it will be a case of "all systems go" a month afterwards.

   

lThe pictures of the three young Nantwich fans - Matt Simpson, Matt Roberts and Matt Clarke - (above) and fans, Ian and Maureen Parker (right) were taken by Gareth Roberts. My thanks to him for letting me use them.

 

lThe picture of the FA Vase and the logo are taken - with permission - from the Football Association's website: www.thefa.com.

 

lCongratulations to player-manager Steve Davis on being named manager of the month for April in Division One of the North West Counties Football League.

 

lVisit the club's website at www.nantwichtownfc.com - including details of the new stadium. See also this page on this website.

TOP confectioners, Chatwins of Nantwich, ("family bakers since 1913") were behind the Dabbers to the extent that they introduced a range of cakes to mark the occasion.

   This included the large cake front centre of this window display in their Pepper Street shop - and gingerbread men wearing the Dabbers' green strip.

   It was a great gesture for the fans to get their teeth into. 

   John Chatwin (a director of the company) is a fervent Dabbers fan - as are many of the staff.

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A (too) busy week for Dabbers

THE Dabbers' success in the F.A. Vase has been marred somewhat. They have three games to fit into five days this week which club officials say has made it hard to improve their position in Division One of the North West Counties Football League - and promotion to a higher league. They say the three games on top of Saturday's Vase final is too much for the players who have jobs to go to. Other clubs are not under so much pressure, they claim, and ask why.

    Needing to win all three games to pass Alsager Town, they only managed a 1-1 draw against Salford City on Monday (Beasley scored in the fourth minute of the game) and a 0-0 draw against Congleton Town on Wednesday.

   However, watched by 46 in an away game on Friday, they beat Bacup Borough 4-1 (half time, 0-2). Kinsey scored three [3, 20, 52] and Beasley got the fourth in the 80th minute).

   The Dabbers finish in fourth place in the league table. Club officials were hoping that the top four - currently it is the top three - can move on. Although if, as I assume, (P) in the table below stands for promoted it doesn't look as if that is to be the case! 

Division One
    P W D L F A GD Pts PP
1 Cammell Laird (-6) (C) 40 33 3 4 120 36 84 96 102
2 Skelmersdale United (P) 42 28 7 7 119 48 71 91 91
3 Alsager Town (P) 42 27 7 8 87 43 44 88 88
4 Nantwich Town 42 26 6 10 91 37 54 84 84
5 Salford City 42 23 10 9 79 46 33 79 79

 

Table from the North West Counties Football League's website: www.nwcfl.co.uk

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