Leamington 1 Nuneaton Town 0
Boro' drop to first defeat in 10 as Leamington put the brakes on unbeaten streak...
Nuneaton Town lost 1-0 to Warwickshire rivals Leamington as the hosts bagged all three points in a fiery derby. Matt Dodd scored a controversial penalty and Leamington goalkeeper Tony Breeden received a second yellow after the final whistle as both teams fought the elements on a bitterly cold afternoon.
The Boro' carved out the best of the early chances as Daniel Nti fired narrowly wide from outside the box, but the hosts were in complete control for most of the first half. Nuneaton were playing in to the wind and found the conditions incredibly difficult as they struggled to get out of their own half. Ross Etheridge's kicks were rarely able to make it past the halfway line as they were held up in the gusting winds and clearances came back quickly in to the Boro' box.
Leamington threatened and worked Etheridge several times, including directly from a couple of corners that were blown in on goal. The breakthrough finally came on the half hour mark as Luther Wildin was adjudged to have fouled Ahmed Obeng in the box. Dodd stepped up and sent Etheridge the wrong way to give the hosts a lead they wouldn't surrender.
George Green had a great chance to pull the Boro' level but his effort crashed back off the crossbar shortly before half time. Daniel Udoh carved out a tremendous chance but fired over when through on goal. The second half was a different story as Nuneaton had the wind at their backs, both actually and figuratively.
Breeden kept his side ahead with a string of fine saves, making 19 in all throughout the game. Kelvin Langmead, starting a league game for the first time this season, saw his header come back off the crossbar as Nuneaton laid siege to the Leamington goal throughout the second period. Leamington didn't offer much going forward in the second half but deserve a great deal of credit for their hard work and application over the course of the match.
Dino Maamria will be disappointed to see his side lose a match that on another day they could have won handsomely but they don't have time to lick their wounds. Tuesday will see Walsall travel to the LDJ Solictors Stadium for a quarter-final clash in the Birmingham Senior Cup before York City visit for a league match on Saturday.