Nuneaton Town 0 Alfreton Town 1
Saturday 6th December, 2014
Match report courtesy of Nuneaton News;
This was billed as a game that the Boro could not afford to lose – it turned out to be one they never looked like winning.
Easily a two out of ten in terms of match entertainment, neither Boro nor Alfreton gave their fans any reason to think that anything but relegation will be theirs come the end of the season.
The simple truth is this was just two poor teams playing out an overwhelmingly poor game with only a penalty separating them.
Before the game Boro boss Liam Daish spoke about wanting to shore up his team ahead of the visit of Alfreton. He did that by dropping Onome Sodje up-front and bringing in Marcel Barrington for his first full start for the club.
That move meant that James Armson was moved back into the centre of the pitch in his 300th game for the Boro and he nearly took advantage of that in the 12th minute.
The midfielder collected the ball in plenty of space, drove forward and sent a stinging drive goalwards that Sam Johnson only managed to grab at the second attempt.
The chance was the first the home side had mustered and three minutes later Alfreton found the back of the net with theirs.
It came via a penalty in the 15th minute, Bradley Wood stepping up and smashing home the spot-kick after the referee blew for an infringement in the box.
The goal did not breathe fresh life into the game – it did the opposite in fact – as the match spiralled into a miserable midfield encounter.
The problem was neither side were able to get the ball down and play, the Boro simply lacked the drive needed to find a way back into the match.
That continued until the end of the first half and beyond - it was the 65th minute when the Boro next went close.
Armson fired over when Marcel Barrington found him unmarked on the edge of the box.
Sam Johnson in the Alfreton goal could not have had an easier afternoon.
Even when Anton Brown missed a Lee Fowler free-kick by just inches with five minutes remaining, Johnson was still not tested.
The near chance summed up what truly was a poor afternoon of football.
Both teams will have to do better in the coming weeks or they will be playing each other at the James Parnell Stadium again next year – albeit in a lower league.
NUNEATON TOWN: Dibble, Starosta, Franklin, Streete, Charles, Dawson (Sodje 84) Fowler, Anton Brown, Armson, Barrington, Gash (Stankevicius 65)
Subs not used: Cowan, Walker, Smith.
ALFRETON TOWN: Johnson, Byrne, Rowe-Turner, Wood, Johnston, Graham, Bradley, Shaw, Davies, Hawley, Howell.
Subs not used: Keane, Courtney, Sheridan, Clayton, Lamb.