Nuneaton Town 0 Gloucester City 1
Monday 31st August, 2015;
Match report courtesy of Nuneaton News;
The unbeaten start to the Vanarama National League North is over for Nuneaton as they lost out to Gloucester City yesterday in a match that they never really hit their recent heights in.
Perhaps fatigued after a fiercely-contested derby clash against Tamworth just 48 hours earlier, the Boro seemed flat and did not deserve to make it seven without defeat against a well drilled Gloucester side at the A1 Gas Force Arena.
It didn't look like it would be the tame affair it turned out to be, in terms of chances at least, early on as the opening 15 minutes saw both teams having opportunities to break the deadlock – but both keepers proved their worth to keep them out.
Jas Singh was the first to be called into action as he got up well to deny a long-range effort from the returning James Reid and just minutes later Jordan Smith showed he was equally adapt in the shot-stopping department as he somehow managed to use his feet to stop James Bowen from finding the back of the net from the angle of the penalty area.
One of the best chances of the half, though, did not need a keeper to stop it going in, as Singh was caught out of his goal by Harewood, but the former Nottingham Forest man was unable to steer it in from out wide, his effort clipping the side netting as it ran behind the goal. Truth be told, though, it was not a great half as those first 15 minutes aside neither team was able to stamp their authority on a game that got more and more scrappy as time wore on.
The second half started little better as perhaps leggy from action on Saturday, neither side played with any real urgency.
Half chances were created, but none that had either keeper really worried, that was until the 67th minute when Smith was beaten with a thunderous strike from Bowen.
The Gloucester winger would have felt aggrieved that the Boro stopper denied him in the first half, so he gave him no chance in the second, smashing home an unstoppable drive from the edge of the box that flew straight into the top left hand corner of the net.
The goal woke Nuneaton from their malaise as within minutes of it going in they could – and should – have been level.
Singh was the reason they were not as he first denied Williams who fired in a free-kick from the edge of the box, but he also got up quickly to deny Shane Byrne who was on-hand for the follow-up. The Irishman really should have left the keeper with no chance with the rebound.
Those chances did not herald an onslaught, however, as it took until injury time for Singh to be really tested again.
It was new signing Herve Pepe-N'Goma who did so, curling an effort from just inside the box that the City keeper did well to parry out. Williams was unlucky not to get his toe to the rebound, though.
In the end Boro did not warrant that effort to go in as they did little in terms of putting on sustained pressure, to deserve a point from this one.
NUNEATON TOWN: J.Smith, Lawton (Pepe-N'Goma 80), Reid, J.Keane, Maguire, Lane, Morgan, Chettle (Canavan 80), Harewood (Duffy 64), Byrne, Williams.
Subs not used: Dyer, C.Keane.
GLOUCESTER CITY: Singh, Hamilton, Jones, Williams, Avery, Hanks, Liddiard, Connolly (Thompson 41), Anoruo (Parker 86), Symons, Bowen.
Subs not used: Hicks, Hall, Miller.