Chester 5 Nuneaton Town 3
Saturday 25th April, 2015
Match report courtesy of Nuneaton News;
In a way it summed things up perfectly. A game that promised so much but ultimately ended in heartache and showed that when push came to shove, Boro were just not able to get the job done in the top-tier of non-league football this season.
Under new manager Brian Reid in August, the 2014-15 season was supposed to be one of hope for Nuneaton, but it turned into one of despair as a 3-1 lead turned into 5-3 defeat on the last day of the campaign.
There were factors though for the poor season and the final day defeat, a lack of squad depth, injuries, mistakes at crucial times, to name but a few. But the main theme was Nuneaton were just not good enough and now face life in the Conference North next season.
Chester seemed up for this dead rubber as they went straight on the attack from the kick-off. But all they could muster during three minutes of mayhem were two half chances that Max Crocombe wasn't really troubled with.
It seemed like a home win was on the cards at that early stage, but Boro had other ideas, they dealt with the pressure and hit Chester where it hurt – with two goals inside a devastating eight minute spell.
The first came from Andy Brown as he did what he does best, he managed to find room in the box and get his head to a right wing cross from Jaanai Gordon.
The second came from a more unusual source as Gav Cowan first had a shot that led to a corner in the 28th minute – and then got his head to the corner to power Boro into a 2-0 lead.
Nuneaton are not facing life in the Conference North next season because they have been playing football like this though. It is because of – among other things –a lack of concentration at key times, and they showed it again as they let Chester pull a goal back on the stroke of half time.
A free-kick was punted into the box where it was met by the head of Oli McBurnie, his towering header left Crocombe with no chance.
All three goals in the first half were from within the area, albeit taken well. The start of the second half saw one smashed in from 25 yards out that outshone all that came before it.
Josh Rees was the scorer as he curled home a fantastic effort from distance. It gave the Boro a two goal advantage once again and was just reward for the form the midfield player has shown since coming to the club in March.
Nuneaton looked to be cruising once again at this stage but they were dealt a massive blow when Cowan went down in the centre circle after a collision.
Boro were unable to get him off, and Anton Brown on quick enough, and as Cowan played on while the change was waiting to happen, the home side capitalised.
Matty Hughes stole through the Nuneaton midfield before feeding Kinglsey James, the midfield man slotting it coolly under Crocombe to cut the deficit once again.
Nuneaton went from looking in control to looking panicked, with midfielder Anton Brown being exposed whilst playing out of position in defence.
It was only a matter of time before the home side made that count in their favour and they did so in the 70th minute as substitute Sean McConville was awarded plenty of room in the penalty area – and he took full advantage of it by simply picking his spot and sliding it under Crocombe who threw himself at it.
The Boro were unable to stem the flow at this point and seemed shell-shocked and unable to stop the Chester onslaught. Just six minutes after drawing level the home side then went ahead for the first time in the match as that man, McConville, was in the right place at the right time once again, as he tapped home a right wing corner to swing the game Chester's way.
Nuneaton's misery was complete when they conceded a fifth with five minutes to go thanks to a fantastic run and drilled finish from George Thomson.
It was a sad end to a sad season for Nuneaton Town.
NUNEATON: Crocombe, Smith, Cowan (Anton Brown 63), Dean, Franklin, Ogleby (Walker 67), Rees, Dawson, Sodje (Nardiello 76), Gordon, Andy Brown.
Subs not used: Wren.
CHESTER: Worsnop (Viscosi 86), Higgins, Heneghan, Charnock, Roberts, Mahon (McConville 65), James, Rooney, Hughes, McBurnie (Thomson 66), Hobson.
Subs not used: Peers, Touray.