Nuneaton Town will face local rivals Tamworth twice in the space of a week, starting Boxing Day at the LDJ Solicitors Stadium with a 12:00 kick-off. Both sides will be intent on bouncing back from 3-0 defeats on Saturday as nine-man Nuneaton were beaten by promotion hopefuls Kidderminster Harriers and Tamworth lost at home to Leamington.
Two players made their debut for Tamworth in that defeat, Joel Kettle, a central defender, on loan from Solihull Moors and Theo Wharton a central midfielder on loan from York City. Kettle played the full 90 minutes as the Lambs struggle with defensive injuries, and Wharton came off the bench for final 19 minutes with Leamington already in command.
The two fixtures are a repeat of the festive period last year, except that the fixtures were reversed. Boro' won both games last season, 1-0 at home on New Years Day and 2-1 at The Lamb Ground on Boxing Day. Jordan Nicholson scored the winner in both games and this double-header will mark the end of his current loan spell, in which he has scored six times for Boro'.
Tamworth's recent defensive record makes encouraging reading for Nuneaton, conceding 16 goals in the past six games, including three in each of the past four matches. The Lambs' only win in that six match stretch was a 4-3 victory away to Bradford Park Avenue courtesy of goals from Connor Taylor, Callum Powell, Aman Verma and Zack Kotwica. Top scorer Darry Knights has eight goals so far this season, though he hasn't found the back of the net since scoring the only goal in a 1-0 win away to Darlington in the middle of November.
There have been 10 meetings between the two sides over the past decade and Nuneaton are well on top over that period, winning seven, drawing two and losing just once. That lone defeat came at The Lamb Ground in January 2013 as the Boro' had a man sent off early in the second half, allowing Tamworth to come from behind for a 2-1 win. Nuneaton have won four of the past five meetings, the exception being a 1-1 draw away from home when current Tamworth Player/Manager Andy Morrell scored a last minute equaliser.