Nuneaton Town 2 WBA XI 2
Tuesday 29th July 2014
Match report courtesy of Nuneaton News;
Nuneaton Town let slip a two-goal lead against a West Bromwich Albion XI after a sparkling first half.
Goals from trialists Jordan Robertson and Ben Hutchinson were just reward for Boro's efforts in the opening 45 minutes.
But two well-taken goals from the visitors, who fielded a development team shorn of any recognisable names, ensured the game would end all square.
The lively Hutchinson had his first sight of goal three minutes into the contest when he slashed a right-footed strike wide from 20 yards out.
James Armson went agonisingly close to opening the scoring a minute later when his close-range prod was scrambled to safety by the West Bromwich Albion goalkeeper.
Gavin Cowan endured an indifferent first half but leapt well to head Adam Walker's deep free-kick across goal just wide.
Walker was key to the game's first goal when his stinging strike was parried straight to Hutchinson who anticipated well to direct a right-footed shot home on 16 minutes.
Boro's lead was almost cancelled out when Cowan was clumsily robbed of possession on the edge of his own box, but Reece Charles-Cooke was alert to race off his line and tackle a Baggies forward with a strong tackle.
Great athleticism from Hutchinson at the far post almost saw him climb high enough to divert Trevor Mutero's cross home, and soon after, Armson's toe-poked snatch-effort from six yards out landed fortunately at the keeper's toes.
Boro doubled their lead on 34 minutes as Robertson wrong-footed the West Bromwich number one after Mutero's shot was blocked.
Anton Brown received a talking to for a heavy tackle 35 metres out from his own goal - the only negative from an all-action first-half from the imposing midfield man.
Excellent pressure on the ball from Boro denied the Baggies the opportunity to create clear cut chances.
The closest they came to reducing the deficit before the interval was when Gaz Dean overreached failing to meet a cross but Mutero was alert to clear up the danger.
At half-time Charles-Cooke made way for James Wren and Anton Brown made way for Jack Dyer.
Moses Akumbi arrived on the scene in place of Robertson on 52 minutes and was soon followed by Jorrin John, in place of Connor Franklin.
Good work from Armson near to the hour mark outwide saw a low cross find Akumbi, only a strong stop from the goalkeeper's legs denying him a goal minutes after being subbed on.
Wren saved well from a one-on-one chip, but could do nothing when West Bromwich's Donervon Daniels headed home a free-kick on 66 minutes to halve the deficit.
Wren was picking the ball out of his net just three minutes later when Samir Nabi curled a beautiful right-footed strike into the top-right-hand corner of the net.
Ben Starosta, Ryan Quinn and Ryan Smith arrived in place of Cowan, Armson and Mutero straight after the equaliser, and soon after, Andy Brown and Hernan Zanni replaced Walker and Hutchinson.
The high tempo remained after the glut of substitutions but opportunities in front of goal were scant entering the last ten minutes of the game.
Zanni blazed a half chance high over the bar as an otherwise entertaining pre-season friendly drew to sedate conclusion at the James Parnell Stadium.