Nuneaton Town 1 WBA 1 aet (4-2 pens)
Tuesday 14th April, 2015 - BSC Semi-Final
Match report courtesy of Nuneaton News;
Nobody is kidding themselves, Nuneaton have not had a great season – it has been dismal at times truth be told.
They have been relegated from the Conference, they could go rock bottom if the points deduction comes through.
But, whatever else has happened, they showed tremendous character on Tuesday night as they out-fought a strong Premier League outfit in West Bromwich Albion to book their place in the final of the Birmingham Senior Cup.
It could have been so easy at 1-0 down, against a team with five players with top league experience, to just throw in the towel, but Nuneaton refused to wilt.
They battled back well and showed the kind of tenacity and drive that surely would have seen them in the top half of the Conference if it had been evident more often this season.
The Boro had started well with early chances from Lucas Dawson from distance and Gavin Cowan with a header, but despite that it was the visitors who took the lead.
They had an effort that sailed well over from Adil Nabi on 15 minutes before the same man gave the Baggies the lead just eight minutes later.
He picked up the ball in the box before side footing it home past Max Crocombe, leaving the Boro keeper with no chance with the well taken effort.
Nabi was proving to be a real handful for the Boro defence and he really did deserve a second goal in the 37th minute.
His free-kick from the edge of the box looked destined to find the top corner, somehow though, Crocombe managed to get across and tip it over the bar with a full-stretch one handed save.
The first half was certainly not lacking in terms of chances created, a far cry from what was to be a poor second period.
Neither side managed to create an opening of note, neither keeper was fully tested as the game stagnated under the setting sun.
That was until the 76th minute when Rob Ogleby pulled out a finish of true quality, a shot that left Alex Palmer with no chance as the former Wrexham man found the bottom corner with a fizzing effort from the corner of the box.
Nuneaton had their tails up after the goal and sensed a final place was in the offing, Adam Walker nearly delivered it to them late on but his shot from the edge of the box was smartly saved by Palmer.
That was to be the last effort of any worth on goal until the second half of extra time, when Josh Rees hit the post with a powerful effort from just inside the penalty area.
That was the end of the excitement, for open play at least, as the game moved into the lottery of the penalty shoot-out.
Sodje, Cowan, Dawson and Gordon all netted for Nuneaton, while Crocombe saved efforts from Tyler Roberts and Cristian Gamboa to see his side through to the final on 30th April.
If they can take the cup, against Birmingham City at St.Andrews, it may just give Boro fans something to look back on this season with a hint of pride about.
Nuneaton Town: Crocombe, Wheeler, Dean, Cowan, Smith, Rees, Dawson, Ogleby (Brown 112), Gordon, Nardiello (Walker 67), Sodje.
Subs not used: Franklin, Wren.
West Bromwich Albion: Palmer, Gamboa, Pocognoli (S.Nabi 98), Birch, Davidson, Wisdom (Atkinson 91), McManaman (Leko 62) O'Sullivan, Roberts, A.Nabi, Garmston.
Subs not used: Cleet, Ross.