Nantwich Town cruised into the second round of the Doodson Sport Cup with a 5-0 victory over Leek Town, who fell to their heaviest defeat of the season.
Just eight places separated the two sides coming into the game and it was a long range effort from former Leek man Ben Deegan that broke the deadlock on 17 minutes.
A deflected Andy White free kick gave Northern Premier League Premier Division side Nantwich a two-goal advantage at half time, over high-flying Leek of the First Division South.
The Blues came into the game hoping to cause their third upset in the space of a week, following their win away at Witton Albion the previous Tuesday and Saturday’s goalless draw at Brackley.
But within just eight minutes of the second half that looked even more unlikely as Andy Bratt was sent off for an attempted stamp on Oliver Devenney.
Nantwich took advantage of the extra man and in the final half an hour scored three more goals, with Deegan notching a second and Harry Clayton scoring a brace.
Dabbers manager Danny Johnson was pleased with his side’s performance. He told StaffsLive: “We’re not going to get too carried away with that tonight, but I think we proved we’re a very good side.
“We created not just the five we scored but we could have probably ended up in double figures if we were really sharp in front of goal.”
Johnson did not think the sending off made a significant impact on the game.
He added: “We were dominating possession and we were 2-0 up at that point.
“We’ve been beaten by 10 men before now and it so happens that we went on to score another three.
“That’s credit to my lads and I’m not going to start saying the sending off had an influence on the game.”
Leek Town boss Lee Casswell was blunt in his assessment of the game. He said: “It was a tanking!
“Other than the first 20 minutes, Nantwich have absolutely battered us. It could have been eight or nine.
“I’m disappointed with the lads who play week in, week out for me. One or two have been told they need to look at themselves.”
And for Casswell the league is now his team’s priority.
The Blues boss added: “Of course we’d have liked to stay in [the Doodson Sport Cup], but I’m not particularly disappointed to go out because we are where we are in the league.
“I’m sure Danny [Johnson] will be thinking if they go away and beat Trafford in the next round they are in the last eight and they’ve got a chance of winning it.
“I’m sure Nantwich are happy to be in it because where they are in the league, and in the cups they need to keep their season alive.”
Johnson also has personal reasons for making it to the next round.
“Trafford’s a club close to my heart. I spent three years there so I’m really pleased, it’s magnificent. I’ll look forward to going.
“But it’s a cup game and we’ll just do what we do in every game and that’s try and win it!”
Nantwich Town will travel to Trafford in the second round of the Doodson Sport Cup on Tuesday 3 December.
Nantwich Town 5-0 Leek Town
Goals (Nantwich Town): Deegan 17′, 62′; White 34′; Clayton 75′, 81′
Red card (Leek Town): Bratt 52′
(Additional reporting by Richard Scott)