Nuneaton Town 0 Birmingham City 1
Wednesday 16th March, 2016;
Nuneaton bowed out of the Birmingham Senior Cup against the Blues in a patchy game at the A1 Gas Force Arena.
A goal from Corey O'Keeffe five minutes from time was the difference between the two teams in a game that could easily have gone either way.
Boro started on the front-foot – and they very nearly scored by doing so.
The game was barely 30 seconds old when a quick move down the left flank opened up the Blues defence and it took a last-gasp block to stop Shane Byrne from applying the finishing touch.
Nuneaton were buoyed by that initial opening and played with plenty of vigour after that.
They had plenty of possession in key areas but were unable to make it count, the Blues defence not letting them create anything of note.
At the other end the Nuneaton defence, marshalled by the returning Joe Maguire, was just as resolute, as neither Zeus De La Paz nor Jake Weaver were called into any serious action.
In-fact it was not until the 68th minute that either keeper needed to do anything worthwhile – but it was worth the wait when it came.
The stop was made by Blues custodian Weaver as he did superbly well to deny Boro new-boy Tom Elliott, the number seven getting on the end of a left-wing cross but somehow his improvised volley was kept out.
It looked at that stage like the Boro would be going from strength to strength as Rob Duffy saw his effort fly wide on the edge of the box not long after – but it was the away side who struck first.
The goal came after a defensive mistake, Corey O'Keeffe broke through a static backline and when one-on-one lifted it coolly over the onrushing De La Paz.
It proved to be the first – and only – goal of the game, and one that sent Nuneaton out of the competition.
FT: Nuneaton Town 0 Birmingham City 1
NUNEATON TOWN: De La Paz, Clifton, C.Keane, Scott, Maguire, Lane, Elliott, Byrne, Harewood (Matthews 90) Whitehouse (Duffy 46), Ironside (Waite 14).
Subs not used: J.Keane, J.Smith.
BIRMINGHAM CITY: Weaver, O'Keeffe, Bernard, Baba, Martin, Seddon, McFarlane, Cooper, Pop (Jones 63), McDonald (Maxwell 59) O'Neill (Harding 72).
Subs not used: Mbende, Trueman.