Nuneaton Town 2 Southport 3
Saturday 22nd November, 2014
Match report courtesy of Nuneaton News;
Nuneaton can feel hard done by this afternoon as their spirited comeback counted for nothing against Southport at the James Parnell Stadium.
The Boro did not start like a team who were void of wins as they began the better of the two sides.
Adam Walker had a couple of efforts that went close in the opening ten minutes while Onome Sodje was unlucky that he could not bring Lee Fowlers cut-back under his spell in the box as he was momentarily unmarked, the danger was soon cleared, though.
It was against the run of play then when the home side went behind.
Mitchell Austin broke clear of the Boro midfield after the home side raced up-field, he was dumped on his backside, though, by a clumsy challenge by Gaz Dean.
The referee did not halt play after the tackle as he allowed John Marsden the chance to run through on goal, the Southport man took full advantage of that fact as he smashed home past James Wren with an unstoppable drive.
The Boro seemed shell-shocked by the goal and they were then two down eight minutes later.
Theo Streete was left without support on the right hand side and Paul Rutherford turned the Boro man inside out before pulling the ball back to Richard Brodie who had the easy task of tapping home from close range.
It looked at this stage like Boro could be on the end of a heavy score but to their credit they fought back well.
Onome Sodje gave the home fans hope with a fine header in the 38th minute, the Boro frontman found space in the box and glanced home a Connor Franklin centre in superb style.
That goal breathed life back into the home side – but for Wren that fire would have been extinguished moments later, though.
Referee John Brookes played his part in the incident, he ignored a blatant foul on Franklin on the edge of the Southport box that the visitors broke from.
From that break they got a free-kick and then, from that, they gained a penalty. Wren stepped up when his side needed him most, though, and pulled off a fantastic save to deny Brodie a second of the afternoon.
That save was given extra importance just four minutes into the second half as Ryan Smith completed the comeback for the Boro with a tight finish from the angle.
The chance was created by Adam Walker who the cut the ball back from the byline, Gash was inches away from poking it home himself, but Smith finished the job when the opportunity looked to be lost.
The game went into a lull after the goal, but it was still the Boro who were asking most of the questions.
James Armson went close to giving them the lead for the first time in the match, but Raya-Martin saved well. Just like Wren’s in the first half, that save was given extra importance soon after.
It was Amadou Bakayoko who took advantage of fine work from Paul Rutherford, the winger turned Dean inside out before laying it off for the substitute to slam home past Wren from close range.
Dean had endured a tough afternoon all-round and it was no surprise when the Boro skipper was sent off for a second yellow card late on, his first was for a late tackle on Luke Foster and his second was for an equally late challenge on goalscorer Bakayoko.
NUNEATON: Wren, Streete (Starosta 87), Dean, Cowan, Franklin, Walker, Armson (Quinn 87), Smith, Fowler, Sodje (Stankevicius 77), Gash.
Subs not used: Anton Brown, Charles.
SOUTHPORT: Raya-Martin, Connor, Fitzpatrick, Foster, McDonald, George, Joyce, Rutherford, Austin, Brodie (Bakayoko 66), Marsden.
Subs not used: Lloyd-Weston, Kay, Evans, Mitchell.