Nuneaton Town 3 Stalybridge Celtic 3
Tuesday 15th September, 2015;
Match report courtesy of Nuneaton News;
So, was it one point gained or two points dropped – only time will tell – but after taking a 3-0 lead at half-time, while down to ten men, Nuneaton Town managed to draw 3-3 against Stalybridge Celtic.
Boro conceded the last of the trio in the final five minutes of an enthralling encounter at the A1 Gas Force Arena.
Nuneaton were dealt an early blow – a self-inflicted one at that – as within the first ten minutes David Morgan committed two late tackles and was subsequently shown two yellow cards and ordered from the field of play.
The first could have been down to the conditions, the rain was lashing down and creating a tricky surface, but the second there was no excuse for.
It came just 90 seconds after the first, and was a tackle Morgan should not really have gone in for so soon after a caution.
Many could have forgiven Nuneaton for shutting up shop after such an early dismissal, they did the opposite and were rewarded for it in the 27th minute.
Despite being down a man, Boro boss Kevin Wilson moved to a back four, adding James Reid to his depleted midfield.
It was an approach that led to the opening goal as Reid was involved in a move that saw Aaron Williams cross to Rob Duffy, who slid the ball back across to his strike partner, who in turn lashed it home.
Celtic were unable to deal with the attacking approach from Nuneaton and it was no surprise that they doubled their lead soon after – even if the goal came from an unlikely source.
It was right-back James Clifton who got it, reacting quickly to a long ball from back to front and sliding it under Tony McMillan in the visitors' goal.
If Clifton getting one was unlikely, the odds on him getting two must have been astronomic, but he did just that in stunning fashion in the 41st minute.
The right-back sent in a fizzing low shot from fully 35-yards, it was past McMillan before he could move and gave Nuneaton a well-deserved 3-0 lead.
Celtic needed half-time to regroup – and regroup they did – coming out a different proposition in the second period.
They took their time coming back into the game though, but they did begin to ask questions of Nuneaton.
They were well worth their opening goal in the 65th minute and a fine goal it was, Aiden Chippendale curling an effort from the right hand side of the pitch up and over Jordan Smith and into the back of the net.
Boro barely had time to register the fact that they had conceded before they did so again, this time it was not from a quality strike but some sloppy defending.
Boro failed to deal with a ball into the box and Alex Johnson was able to poke it home past Smith to leave the deficit at one.
Nuneaton brought on Callum Chettle to try and stem the flow of pressure, and it worked to an extent as once again it was the Boro who were on the front foot and looking to put the game to bed.
They had some half chances to do so, but failed to take them, and they were made to pay for that in the 86th minute as Darius Osei was left unmarked at the far post after a long ball into the box sailed over the Boro defence.
The Celtic substitute simply collected it and prodded it through the legs of Smith to level the scores.
NUNEATON TOWN: J.Smith, Clifton, Maguire, Lane, J.Keane, Reid (Chettle 70), Morgan, Whitehouse, Byrne, Duffy (Harewood 50), Williams.
Subs not used: C.Keane, Dyer, Daniels.
STALYBRIDGE CELTIC: McMillan, Crowley, Chippendale, Hughes, Higgins, Shaw, Dixon, Chalmers (McKenna 45), Johnson (Osei 82), Tames, Wright (Burgess 86).
Subs not used: Wylie, Hill.