Nuneaton Town 0 Notts County 0
Tuesday 15th July, 2014.
Match report courtesy of Nuneaton News;
No trophies are won and lost in pre-season, no league standings are decided either.
The games are often littered with substitutions and at times, like on Tuesday night, the players identities are kept from the fans and media alike.
But every so often, the football breaks out, and for the 510 supporters who saw Nuneaton hold their own against Notts County they were able to see a changing of the tide.
Gone is the 4-4-2 that the Boro used week in, week out last time round.
In the three games so far Brian Reid has favoured a back three, and against County that was beginning to bear fruit.
Nuneaton looked comfortable in possession and, truth be told, they were the better side against League One opponents.
From the safety of the stands it was impossible to see any difference in quality as the Reid revolution put on its best 90 minutes showing yet.
Notts County were certainly not here to mess about as they named a strong line-up that included former England and Leeds United man Alan Smith.
The Boro managed to hold their own though, as Theo Streete in particular was proving a defensive rock.
The Magpies had a lot of possession, but in their new back three formation, the Boro were stopping them from doing anything with it.
At the other end, one of the two Argentinian trialists, Hernan Zanni, was showing his array of skills, looking tricky whenever he picked up the ball.
He should have scored when he linked up with Andy Brown in the 37th minute, but he was thwarted by Fabian Speiss in the County goal.
From the resulting corner Gaz Dean saw his header cleared off the line by Speiss.
The Boro were asking plenty of questions at this point as only a stray leg denied James Armson after the Boro midfielder struck a wonderful effort from the edge of the area, the ball clearing a flurry of players before it was blocked just short of the line.
It was not all Boro though, as skipper Gaz Dean had to produce a wonderful tackle to deny Zeli Osmail, nipping in and sliding the ball away when the Magpies forward was clean through.
The second half did not see wholesale changes as both managers gave their sides a little more time to enjoy the run-out.
The changes did eventually come as Brian Reid had another look at Adam Mekki from the bench.
Whereas Reid made his changes in twos and threes, County boss Shaun Derry made them all in one go, bringing on eight players with 15 minutes to go.
One player who did survive the changes was trialist Reice Charles-Cooke, and he was called into action with 12 minutes to go.
The former Arsenal keeper did well to deny Elliott Whitehouse as the Magpies man jumped highest at the far post and sent a header goalwards.
That proved to be the last real goalmouth action of the night as neither side got out of second gear late on.
Reid will not be worried by that though, as his Boro team did more than enough to leave people excited by the season to come.
Boro - Reice Charles-Cook; Gareth Dean, Gavin Cowan (54 mins, Delroy Gordon), Theo Streete; Hernan Zanni (67 mins, Daniel Kavanagh), Jack Dyer (67 mins, Ben Starosta), Anton Brown (54 mins, Adam Walker), James Armson (63 mins, Ryan Quinn), Jorrin John (63 mins, Adam Mekki); Pablo Diyuka (76 mins, Daniel Nti), Andy Brown.
Unused sub - James Wren (gk).
Notts County (starting XI) - Spiess, Thompson, Hollis, Mullins, Keane, A Dawson, Smith, Noble, Wroe, Ismail, Murray.
(Subs) - Andrews, Sixon, McKenzie, McGowan, Symons, Whitehouse, L Dawson, Balmy, Waite, Fyfe.