Altrincham 0 Nuneaton Town 1
Sunday 28th December, 2014
Match report courtesy of Nuneaton News;
Boro put their awful away form to bed as they made it four points out of six over the festive period with a hard-earned 1-0 win over Altrincham.
Not since the beginning of February have Boro managed to bring back three points from their travels, but they did so in dramatic circumstances as Callum Burton produced a man-of-the-match performance to deny the home side.
Nuneaton ended their Boxing Day clash at home to Telford by conceding two goals in the last 30 seconds to throw away a 4-2 lead – but there was no sign of any hangover.
Boro lined-up with the same starting 11 that began the Telford match, they looked solid and began with some composed play. They nearly conceded early on, however, but Callum Burton pulled off a dramatic double save, stopping Damian Reeves not once but twice to deny the Altrincham frontman.
Around the half-hour mark the Boro came close to breaking the deadlock themselves when James Armson fired just wide after some neat play on the edge of the area, the same man then took too long in the box when found from an Adam Dawson corner.
Altrincham came closest to taking the lead though, as Tom Marshall saw his effort ruled out by the off-side flag after the defender found space following a free-kick on the edge of the box.
It wasn’t the officials who stopped Boro from enjoying a dream start to the second period, but the woodwork.
Ryan Smith produced some fancy footwork on the edge of the box but had to watch as his looping effort cannoned back of the crossbar and bounced away to safety.
The chances were coming at regular intervals for both sides and Burton in particular was showing what a talent he could become with another top save.
The on-loan Shrewsbury man had already denied Reeve twice in the first half and 15 minutes into the second he did so again, getting up high to punch over a close-range header from the frontman – one that the Boro stopper had no right to get to.
That save came at a crucial time as less than ten minutes later the Boro were ahead.
Michael Gash joined the club earlier in the season with a reputation for goals, and he showed a glimpse of why that was as he tapped home a Gavin Cowan volleyed effort from four yards out, the striker was in the right place at the right time to net his first for the Boro.
Under normal circumstances Gash would be the hero with a goal as important as that, but Burton was taking all the plaudits after he continued to deny Altrincham – and most notably Reeves – all on his own.
The stopper showed he was good on the deck this time as Reeves shot low and true with five minutes remaining, Burton was again up to the task though, and tipped the ball wide for a corner. The keeper was not finished their though, far from it, as he denied Reeves once again in the last of six minutes of stoppage time to ensure the Boro took all three points back home.
BORO: Burton, Smith (Dean 75), Cowan, Streete, Franklin, Armson, Walker (Quinn 87), Anton Brown, Dawson, Sodje, Gash.
Subs not used: Starosta, Fowler, Richards.
ALTRINCHAM: Coburn, Griffin, Moult, Havern, Leather, Lawrie, Reeves, Clee (Gillespie 81) Marshall, Williams (Perry 76), Crowther (Wilkinson 62).
Subs not used: Parton, Swift.