Nuneaton Town 0 Woking 2
Saturday 21st December 2013 (Skrill Premier)
Match report courtesy of Nuneaton News;
Nuneaton Town must be sick of the sight of Woking.
Four games against one of the less fancied teams in Skrill Premier have yielded one point and three defeats in the last two seasons.
Boro have now lost 6-1 and 2-0 twice to the Cards since they were promoted.
The first two defeats, both away, were wretched and while this was not on that level, their latest loss was a just one.
Woking simply blew them away at the start of the second half as two players at differing ends of their careers played the key roles as they went head to head.
The game was well poised at 0-0 when 35-year-old former Fulham winger Kevin Betsy beat 19-year-old Boro debutant Chimdi Akubuine to the ball and released Jack Marriott to finish well, Kelle Roos conceding his first goal for the club in 590 minutes.
The next one would follow 10 minutes later as once again Akubuine was beaten by Betsy, who raced on to slot beyond the exposed Roos.
Boro rarely looked like getting back into it after that, Louis Moult coming closest when his shot was cleared off the line after 64 minutes.
Despite being outplayed they had created plenty of chances at 0-0 and they really needed one of them to go in to make it a different story.
So their four game winning streak is over but they are still a remarkable seventh in the table - and the good news is they don't have to play Woking every week.
Akubuine came straight into the side after signing from Kettering Town last Thursday.
He replaced the suspended Theo Streete at right-back with Emmitt Delouneso injured, but such were Boro's injury problems that Danny Sleath had to play left-back rather than left-midfield.
Adam Walker moved out to the left wing, a position he admits is not his favourite but he performed well.
Feeble performances from Freddie Ladapo and Connor Taylor in the FA Trophy defeat to Gosport Borough meant manager Kevin Wilkin will have been relieved to be able to bring Moult and Dave Hibbert back up front.
It was 0-0 at the break but the first half was an open affair.
The tone was set after just 37 seconds when Scott Rendell fired over from the edge of the box.
Moult responded when his audacious lob from the halfway line drifted wide.
Slack play from James Armson gifted the ball to Woking, who slipped in Betsy, but Armson redeemed himself with an excellent saving tackle.
Chances were coming thick and fast as the impressive Jack Payne clipped a great ball for in Marriot, who could not glance it past Roos.
To this point the hosts had been on the back foot but they came into the game when Hibbert got away from the defence and forced Beasant into a good save as he watched the ball roll agonisingly wide.
Hibbert met the ball from the resulting corner but John Nutter was there to head it clear off the line.
Woking seized control of again when Charles Banya crossed from the right and Rendell planted in a header that had Roos beaten but flashed inches over.
It was end to end stuff with Banya firing wide for Woking after 34 minutes.
Sixty seconds later Armson took the ball down on the edge of box and beat Beasant, but not the bar as the ball cannoned off the woodwork.
Walker met the rebound with a crisp drive, but Beasant reacted with a tremendous save to turn it away.
Woking were on fire at the start of the second half as they won it.
The first goal came when Betsy beat Akubuine to the ball and slipped the it to Marriott in the space the right-back had vacated.
Marriott showed a cool head to clip over Roos from 10 yards.
Walker came close to pulling one back but Beasant saved well at his near post.
Before Boro could fully recover Woking stretched their lead. This time Betsy had too much pace for Akubuine and he raced away before firing the ball past Roos on the hour.
It should have been game over a minute later when Banya fired in a low cross and an unmarked Marriott met it eight yards out.
He thought he'd scored, but Roos threw himself to his left to make a great save.
Akbuine went some way to redeeming himself with a good clearance when the ball was put back in, but Wilkin had seen enough as he brought on forgotten man Jon Adams.
It was an instant education for Akubuine, who will have learned stepping up three leagues is not easy.
Nuneaton needed a route back and they almost got it when Beasant dropped the ball. Moult met it with a clean strike but Mark Ricketts did brilliantly to clear it off the line.
There was almost a third goal in stoppage time when Payne's free-kick left Roos rooted as it rippled the side netting.