Nuneaton Town 0 Grimsby Town 2 (FA Trophy 1st Round)
Saturday 13th December, 2014
Match report courtesy of Nuneaton News;
Liam Daish told the Nuneaton News he felt like he had run over the club cat last month – such had been his luck since he took over at the Boro in September.
If that was the case back then, then goodness knows what bad-luck omen Daish has crossed now as Boro saw their fortunes go from bad to worse in a terrible Saturday afternoon's football at the James Parnell Stadium.
Starting from the earliest moments, the club were up against it.
The Grimsby coach did not arrive until nearly 3.40pm, thus delaying kick off until 4.15pm.
The hour-and-a-quarter delay saw the Boro attendance dip to just 344, many unwilling to wait the extra time to see the game start.
When it did begin it was obvious that the five-hour plus journey down to the James Parnell Stadium had not had an affect on the travelling Mariners.
It was the visitors who started brighter, Lenell John-Lewis having two chances within the space of a few seconds 14 minutes in. For the first, the Mariners frontman smashed straight at Christian Dibble, the second he fired wide when left unmarked in the Boro box.
The Boro were very much in the game though, and Adam Dawson sent the visitors a warning 20 minutes in when he flashed an effort that flew just over James McKeown's goal with the keeper beaten.
It was typical of the Boro luck this season then that they went behind when they were enjoying a decent spell of pressure.
It was Jon-Paul Pittman who smashed the opener, the Grimsby striker turned Gav Cowan on the edge of the box before firing past Dibble.
In the 65th minute things went from bad to worse for Nuneaton as their returning skipper Gaz Dean was sent to the stands after a last-man lunge on John-Lewis. Dean started walking before the referee even produced the card, compounding a tough month for the captain.
If that was not bad enough, from the resulting free-kick Boro were dealt a double blow, as Dibble hit his head on the post after Aswad Thomas curled his effort goalwards.
Left dazed, the on-loan Barnsley man was told by medical officials he had to go off.
With no sub keeper on the bench James Armson was left to take over between the sticks.
Grimsby were obviously buoyed by the happenings – but they were still made to wait 12 minutes to take advantage.
It was Jack Mackreth who struck for the visitors, he broke free of the depleted Boro defence before rounding Armson in goal and tucking the ball into the empty net.
Nuneaton simply had no reply after that – while Grimsby mercifully seemed content with the two-goal margin.
Boro cannot solely blame bad luck. Somehow they have got to rise above adversity when it comes or their Conference place will go the same way as their Trophy campaign at the end of the season.
NUNEATON: Dibble (Quinn 69), Starostsa, Franklin, Cowan, Dean, Anton Brown, Armson, Walker, Dawson (Barrington 81), Sodje, Stankevicius.
Subs not used: Fowler, Smith, Kavanagh.
GRIMSBY TOWN: McKeown, Thomas, Brown, Pearson, Magnay, Mackreth, Disley (Clay 55), John-Lewis (Hannah 81), Pittman, Parslow, Arnold (Walker 81).
Subs not used: Bignot, Nielson.