WITTON Albion’s revival stalled away to Nantwich Town, who ended a five-match losing run in the Northern Premier League’s top-flight.

Carl Macauley’s men conceded twice inside the opening quarter of an hour to leave them playing catch-up for the remainder.

They gave the Dabbers a leg-up, and trailed after three minutes when Rob Hopley could not avoid diverting Sam Hall’s flick-on into his own net from Sean Cooke’s corner.

Cooke doubled the home team’s lead shortly afterwards, firing past goalkeeper Calvin Hare after Caspar Hughes initiated a rehearsed free-kick routine.

In between, Tom Owens’ attempt to equalise had been brilliantly saved at the other end.

The midfielder, on target during a midweek victory against Radcliffe in the Integro League Cup, saw his next attempt drift wide of an upright.

Albion did find the net on 29 minutes when Hopley, after Will Jones flicked cleverly into his path, shot low into the corner past custodian Will Jaaskelainen.

Nantwich’s threat felt reduced, although Joel Stair’s header across the face of goal was close to reaching teammate Harry Clayton.

In deteriorating conditions at the start of the second half, Jaaskelainen was prompted to parry from Danny McKenna’s curling free-kick.

Steven Tames’ attempt from the edge of the penalty area whistled wide before the hosts cursed their bad luck when Joe Mwasile’s effort struck the crossbar after he was picked out by Matt Bell.

The latter duly restored a two-goal advantage on 63 minutes, converting direct from a free-kick that was placed perfectly into the bottom corner.

Witton were not subdued though, and Hopley’s overhead kick narrowly missed the target before Jaaskelainen reacted smartly to tip over substitute Paul Williams’ spectacular lob from distance.

Albion’s hopes were heightened when Williams converted a penalty after Dabbers replacement Nathan Cotterell felled Hopley with eight minutes left.

However they could not conjure a leveller despite applying pressure.

Dabbers | Jaaskelainen (GK), Bourne, Wildin, Stair, Mullarkey, Hall (Cotterell 67), Hughes, Bell, Clayton (Forbes 84), Cooke, Mwasile (Davies 86) Subs not used Morgan, McDonald Goals Hopley 3 (own goal), Cooke 12, Bell 63 Booked Cotterell

Witton | Hare (GK), Gardner, McKenna, Ryan, Brown, Foley (Cesaire 86), Hedley (Evans 75), Owens, Hopley, Jones, Tames (Williams 67) Subs not used Wilson, Neild (GK) Goals Hopley 29, Williams 82 (penalty) Booked Hare, Gardner

Referee Daniel Bruce

Attendance 315