Leamington 0 Nuneaton Town 2
Saturday 2nd August 2014
Match report courtesy of Nuneaton News;
Debutant striker Magno Vieria made a goalscoring start to his Nuneaton Town career at a stormy New Windmill Stadium.
The Brazilian forward only arrived on loan from fellow Conference National outfit Forest Green Rovers the previous day but hit the ground running with a display full of endeavour and craft.
The former Wigan player scored one and created Andy Brown's opener, either side of Joe Magunda's red card for the hosts.
The game's key incident on 23 minutes saw referee Martin Dexter dismiss the Leamington midfielder for a late, heavy challenge on Jorrin John.
With the man advantage, Boro were in cruise control throughout and should have increased their lead in a sloppy second period.
Boro first threatened the Brakes' goal when Connor Franklin headed John's cross firmly into former Boro keeper Neil Collett's hands three minutes in.
Collett was less assured moments later when he parried John's shot from the right side of the box but managed to recover the ball.
Indecision at the back for Boro allowed Danny Newton to shoot low across goal, finding the hands of a diving Reice Charles-Cook.
Jack Dyer, operating in the role left vacant by Anton Brown's calf injury, had two stabs at goal with the second fizzing wide after ten minutes.
Brave glove work from Collett denied Vieria, diving forward to prevent a telling connection from Franklin's low cross from the left.
The goal Boro threatened arrived on 19 minutes when Dyer's speculative long-range shot was diverted sidewards by Vieria into the path of Brown, who had time and space to fire clinically across Collett and into the side of the net.
Magunda received his marching orders on 23 minutes affording Boro midfielders Adam Walker, Dyer and James Armson to dictate the pace of the encounter.
Captain Gaz Dean yelled in frustration after he headed over from Cowan's brave knock down from a Dyer corner.
Boro doubled their advantage eight minutes before the interval when Franklin's low cross was helped on by Brown, where Vieria finished firmly at the far post from close range.
It was a neat piece of anticipation from the loanee, adding a finishing touch to his gutsy endeavours alongside strike partner Brown.
Dyer's quick distribution from midfield was allowing Boro to play in dangerous areas, Vieria received one such pass with his back to goal, battling hard to work enough space to shoot low and into the goalkeeper's hands in the last chance of the half.
The heavens opened minutes before the interval and would return for much of the second half.
Brown had a snapshot saved minutes after the restart after Matt Dodd slipped in the box as thunder and lightening rattled overhead.
A splendid spell of possession from Boro on the hour should have yielded a goal when Dyer's delicate chip behind enemy lines was headed tamely wide by John.
Driving rain failed to curtail Boro's passing game, forcing Leamington deep inside their own half and earning a raft of corners.
Only the post would deny Armson a deserved goal for his afternoon's endeavours when he met Dyer's corner from the right from 10 yards out.
Leamington's best chance of the game arrived on 69 minutes when Jack Edwards met a left wing cross to head just wide.
Frustration grew within the Boro ranks as wastefulness on the attack failed to yield clear cut opportunities.
Leamington had half chances through Edwards and Luke Hubbins, but both were fielded by Charles-Cook.
The final 15 minutes saw the hosts rally and push for a goal in their best spell of the game, as Nuneaton eyes turned towards the Conference National opener against Eastleigh on Saturday.
The positives were ample; a victory, clean sheet and no injuries being the main ones, add to that a sparkling debut from Vieria and a great showing from Dyer.
But in reality, Boro needed a sterner test ahead of another challenging campaign in the fifth tier of English football.
An early, deserved, red card killed the game as a contest - allowing Brian Reid’s men to dominate possession and pick up a comfortable, morale-boosting win.
BORO: Charles-Cook, Gordon, Cowan, Dyer, Dean (c), Walker, John, Armson, Vieria, Andy Brown, Franklin. Subs; Hutchinson (Vieria 73). Not used; Quinn, Smith, Wren.
BRAKES: Collett, Mace, Morley, Magunda, Pierpoint, Tank, Wint, Goddard, Moore, Newton, Batchelor. Subs; Connolly, Edwards, Moore, Dodd, Hubbins, Maher.