Braintree Town 2 Nuneaton Town 0
Monday 25th August 2014
Match report courtesy of Nuneaton News;
If this defeat was a movie it would be the Good, the Bad and the Ugly as Boro made it five games without a win – or a goal – at the start of the 2014/15 season.
The good was the opening 70 minutes of the game, a performance that saw the Boro look solid at the back and well organised. The perfect away day showing in a way.
The bad was either the injury to skipper Gaz Dean – or of course the result itself on a wet afternoon in Essex.
The ugly, then, can be summed up by a hideous tackle by Ben Hutchinson in the 73rd minute. A foul that saw the former Celtic man see red, a card that ultimately led to the Boro tailing off.
As was the case on Saturday, Boro started well, but once again an early defensive lapse let the opposition in.
Whereas Barnet were able to take advantage of that, Braintree were not as Dan Walker rounded Reice Charles-Cook after a routine long-ball, but only found Exodus Geohaghan instead of the back of the net.
Braintree looked the more likely to score after that as Kenny Davis sent a lovely volley just over and Mitch Brundle somehow headed over from six yards out.
On the half hour mark Brundle was able to hit the target but he found Charles-Cook in fine form, the on-loan Boro man was also up quickly to deny Jordan Cox from the rebound.
The best Boro chance of the half came out of nowhere, and with only five minutes to go before the break, as James Armson picked the ball up fully 40-yards from goal and fired a stinging effort that Nick Hamann had to be at his best to tip past the post.
The second half saw a continuation of that pattern as the home side were on the front foot almost from the off, with the Boro seemingly happy to sit back and hit them on the break when the chance arose.
Due to the chosen tactics of both sides the first 20 minutes of the second half was a stalemate. Braintree lacking the quality to break the Boro backline down, Nuneaton lacking the numbers in advanced positions to ask their hosts any meaningful questions.
It would have been more than frustrating for Brian Reid then, when his centre-forward Ben Hutchinson saw red in the 73rd minute.
The tackle was right in front of the dugouts and saw Hutchinson go in hard and late on Ryan Peters.
There were no complaints from the Boro bench as the former Mansfield Town man made his way back to the dressing rooms.
Hutchinson had moments earlier headed a Tyrell Waite cross superbly back into the path of Armson but he was unable to get his shot off before he was tackled.
Without the front man up top the threat that Nuneaton were looking to build seemed to vanish.
It was no surprise then when Braintree went 1-0 up, the home side taking advantage of some indecision by Boro to earn a free-kick on the edge of the box that Brundle dispatched with top, top quality.
An injury to skipper Gaz Dean saw him go off straight after the goal, compounding a miserable five minute spell for Boro boss Reid.
The fight seemed to just evaporate from Nuneaton in the final ten minutes, so a second goal from Braintree was not an unexpected one.
It was taken with style by substitute Michael Bakare as he cut in from the right hand side and curled a fabulous effort past Charles-Cook from the edge of the box.
It was a miserable end to what had looked like a promising day for Nuneaton Town.
As it stands though, they are goalless, winless and in need of a massive dose of luck and spirit before Altrincham come to town next weekend.