Hereford United 0 Nuneaton Town 1
Saturday 7th December 2013 (Skrill Premier)
Match report courtesy of Nuneaton News;
‘Game management’ is a phrase often used by Kevin Wilkin after Nuneaton Town games.
A football cliche most certainly, but Boro did deliver what their manager was hoping for as they shut down a toothless Hereford United side with precision and discipline. A first half of little action was noteworthy mostly for what many saw as a controversial penalty for a foul on Wes York.
Not so the manager, who was convinced justice was served when Louis Moult scored his 13th goal of the season from the spot after 40 minutes.
That goal was enough to lift Boro up one place to fourth in Skrill Premier on the back of a fourth straight league win. To use another Wilkin phrase, Nuneaton are ‘in a good place’.
Their latest victory was not because of dazzling collective attacking play – there wasn’t any.
There were occasional moments of magic from Moult, but otherwise this was about disciplined defending to kill off Hereford, who were roundly booed off by the frustrated home crowd.
Kelle Roos kept his fourth clean sheet in four appearances. Once again he looked accomplished, doing all that was asked him of him, some occasionally erratic kicking aside.
The midfield and attack worked hard without ever hitting the heights, but the true stars were again the back four.
The full-backs were solid if unspectacular, while Gaz Dean and Delroy Gordon coped excellently with a Hereford attack that was pretty one dimensional.
Gordon has made it clear he hopes to stay in the side even when Gavin Cowan is fit again and at this rate he has every chance of doing so.
The main news before kick-off was the welcome sight of Mark Noon on the pitch performing the assistant manager duties following Micky Moore’s departure. Wilkin revealed after the game that he hopes to make the former Boro captain his deputy this week - if terms can be agreed.
There was just the one change to the team which beat Alfreton Town in the FA Trophy last Saturday.
Amari’i Bell did not get clearance from parent club Birmingham City to play in that game, but he was back at left-back against the Bulls.
Theo Streete moved to right-back as Emmitt Delfouneso missed out with a thigh strain.
There was every chance he would have been left out anyway despite impressing since coming into the side.
York kept his place on the right wing, despite the return of England C international James Armson, who was only on the bench for the first time this season.
Hereford welcomed back key defender and captain Luke Graham.
The first half was a poor one as Boro struggled to get going. That said, they created all the chances in the opening 45 minutes.
The first opportunity came in the 20th minute as Adam Walker’s corner went all the way to the back post where York was waiting.
He met it with a lunging header, but put it wide from six yards when he should have probably scored.
Scares for Boro were limited despite Hereford having more of the ball.
They were almost the architects of their own downfall as Bell’s awkward looking back header was pounced upon by Kelle Roos ahead of an opponent.
Roos also watched a near post shot by Frankie Artus flash wide, but the limited action was up the other end.
It took 34 minutes for a true chance to arrive as Danny Sleath hooked in a high ball and Moult’s well aimed header was brilliantly saved by Daniel Lloyd-Weston, diving to his right.
The first goal came after 40 minutes as York raced into the box and was challenged by Artus.
He looked to lever York down but no one appealed as the ball ran out for what looked like a goal kick.
To the amazement of the Bulls players and fans a penalty was given.
After the protests died down Moult sent Lloyd-Weston the wrong way for his 13th goal of a tremendously productive season.
He almost doubled the lead two minutes before the break with a free-kick that had the keeper beaten but rippled the side netting.
Moult was in the mood for goals as he came close with an outrageous effort two minutes after the restart. He robbed Graham on the byline and looked to curl the ball in from a tight angle, forcing Lloyd-Weston into a good stop.
Ten minutes later he was at it again, flicking the ball up on the edge of the box before volleying just over with the keeper stranded.
Hereford struggled to threaten, although substitute Dan Walker did at least give them an injection of pace when he came on.
However, all they had to show for their efforts in the second half was a tame Eric Odhiambo shot that was well held by Roos.
That was it in terms of chances – nothing more in the final 30 minutes. That suited Boro, who coped tremendously even when Hereford threw defender Dom Collins upfront with 10 minutes left.
Attendance: 1,292 (105 Boro fans).