AFC Telford Utd 0 Nuneaton Town 0
Thursday 1st January, 2015
Match report courtesy of Nuneaton News
Football can be a misleading game at times as Nuneaton and Telford proved in the last seven days.
On Boxing Day, the two teams played out a 4-4 draw, a game that was anything but an eight-goal thriller.
Then, yesterday, the two teams shared a 0-0 draw at the Bucks Head – a game that could have finished 5-5 if not for Callum Burton in the Boro goal and Freddy Hall in the Telford net.
Nil-nil draws are supposed to be dull, drab affairs, but this was anything but that as both sides treated the occasion like a cup-tie, going toe-to-toe for 90 minutes in a fantastic advert for Conference football.
It was Telford who finished the Boxing Day game the stronger – with two goals in the last 30 seconds – and they carried that form into the encounter yesterday, as the basement boys had the best of the early chances in the reverse fixture.
They found the Boro defence in resilient mood though, as Gav Cowan and Anton Brown were forced into last ditch tackles to keep the score goalless.
Meanwhile, at the other end, Onome Sodje was guilty of wasting the best of the early Boro chances, the frontman taking so long when put through one-on-one with Hall that the keeper was allowed to come rushing out and make a superb sliding tackle.
It was Telford who were creating most of the first half opportunities, though, as for the second time in as many games Callum Burton was needed to produce his best.
This time, in the 35th minute, he had to deny Tony Gray with a fine diving save, the on-loan Shrewsbury man somehow getting his hand to an effort that looked destined to creep in just inside the keeper's near post.
The driving rain and howling wind was making both goalkeepers' life a nightmare, but only in terms of clearances.
When it came to shot-stopping both custodians were excelling, as Hall proved just before the break as he dived full length to tip a James Armson effort round the post from just inside the area.
The second half looked to carry on in the same vein in terms of the number of chances created – a fact that was backed up by the home side having a goal disallowed just 30 seconds after the restart.
Gray sent an effort goalwards that Burton did well to get something behind, Sam Smith tucked home the rebound but it was disallowed after the frontman was adjudged to have been in an off-side position when the initial shot was struck.
The Boro responded well after the let-off as Adam Walker tested Hall twice in quick succession, while the Telford keeper would have been delighted that Michael Gash could only send a Ryan Smith cross into his arms when the Boro frontman headed goalwards from just inside the box.
Whatever Hall was doing at one end, Burton was emulating at the other, the Boro stopper producing another special save to deny Mike Grogan this time, the Telford man getting up high at the far post from a corner, Burton getting down low to stop his header with his feet.
Neither side was able to go that close again, but not for the want of trying, as they battled it out for one of the most entertaining draws of the season.
Where exactly that leaves both teams in terms of pulling off a great escape and beating the drop is anyones guess – but keep playing like this and they have got a great chance of doing just that.
BORO: Burton, Smith, Streete, Cowan, Franklin, Dawson, Walker, Armson, Anton Brown, Gash, Sodje.
Subs not used: Dean, Quinn, Fowler, Richards, Charles.
TELFORD: Hall, Hancock, Brownhill, Byrne, Grogan, Todd, Barnett, Gray, Farrell, Owens, Smith (Cooke 84).
Subs not used: Hedge, Hancock, Poku.