Match Report: Matlock Town vs Boro
By Mark Farmer;
Boro travelled to the home of ‘The Gladiators’, Matlock Town, on Friday evening for the third game of their pre-season calendar, and the National League North side left victorious after cruising to a 2-0 win thanks to goals from Billy Daniels and James Fry.
The two teams were literally a league apart going into the game and it showed out on the field as Boro’ outplayed, and outworked, their Northern Premier League counterparts.
As soon as the game began Nuneaton set about their work, moving the ball around quickly and comfortably winning a series of corners in the opening five minutes.
It was no surprise that the visitors would also get the first real effort on goal, too. Six minutes in recent signing Shaq McDonald got his shot away on the edge of Matlock’s box.
The Boro’ forward found himself a yard of space but his strike was deflected into the arms of Dean Snedker - on loan to Matlock for the fixture as they were without their first choice goalkeeper due to illness.
After a couple of wayward efforts for the home side, Nuneaton continued to go about executing their game plan as Courtney Cameron skipped past two defenders but dragged his shot across the face of goal, the ball rolling agonisingly through the six-yard box with nobody on hand to finish his trickery.
Despite Boro’s pressure it was the lower league side that almost opened the scoring through Niall McManus 20 minutes in. The 21-year-old cut inside his defender to shoot hard and low beating the right hand of diving Zeus De La Pas but not the post – as the ball struck the woodwork and went behind for a goal kick, sparing Boro’s blushes.
Fifteen minutes later Nuneaton almost came up with the perfect response, Cameron curling his left-footed effort past Snedker but also wide, albeit by a few inches.
Moments later Shaq McDonald passed up a golden opportunity for Boro’ as his lifted shot with the outside of his right boot drifted narrowly wide, the anguish on his face clear to see.
Five minutes before the interval the deadlock was broken when Billy Daniels gathered the ball deep in Matlock’s half and drove through the centre of midfield before burying his shot into the bottom corner for a 1-0 lead at the break.
Half-time: Matlock Town 0-1 Nuneaton Town.
Normal service was resumed in the second-half and Boro’ doubled their lead through James Fry, the former Birmingham City man picked his spot to find the back of the net just inside the penalty area for 2-0 to the delight of the travelling fans.
Matlock nearly pulled a goal back, and perhaps should have done, but Wiley’s powerful header was superbly saved by Boro’s and Curaçao’s shot stopper – De La Pas.
Daniel Demkiv almost made it three for the visitors with a quarter of an hour left to play. His run down the left wing before cutting inside and sending his defender the wrong way to shoot across goal was brilliantly saved by Snedker who tipped the ball past the post for a corner.
The win will give Nuneaton confidence going in to Tuesday’s fixture away to Rushall Olympic.
Full-time at Causeway Lane: Matlock Town 0-2 Nuneaton Town.
Boro Starting Line Up
1. Zeus De La Paz
2. James Clifton
3. George Grayson
4. Kristian Scott
5. Kelvin Langmead (C)
6. Alex Penny
7. Sam Warburton
8. Billy Daniels
9. Joe Ironside
10. Courtney cameron
11. Shaq McDonald