Nuneaton Town hosted Football League Two champions, Northampton Town, at Liberty Way on Tuesday night and ran out 1-0 winners thanks to a well-taken goal from Boro’ new boy, Shaq McDonald.
Boro’ got the game underway and throughout the early stages proceedings were tentative from both sides, neither team looking to take risks in possession and the majority of play being aerial.
It was to be Nuneaton that would have the first real action of note however, in the 7th minute as Elliot Whitehouse struck a dangerous low shot just past the visitors’ right-hand post, doing well to carve a yard of space in the build-up.
Just three minutes later Northampton’s Aaron Phillips would call the goalkeeping skills of Zeus De La Pas into play. The former Coventry City man struck a vicious shot from around 25 yards with the ball swerving and dipping, but expertly saved by the Boro stopper who tipped the ball around the post for a corner.
Both sides then settled into the game, stringing their passes together well and the home side looked the more potent throughout the first-half and soon made their pressure tell.
Colby Bishop did well to get on the end of the loose ball in the opponent’s penalty area after battling for possession, and he did even better to find a through ball pass out to the right to find new signing, Shaq McDonald, who in turn found himself in acres of space with time to get a shot away.
McDonald was cool, calm and collected as he drove his right-footed shot hard underneath Adam Smith, who had no chance to save the effort, providing Nuneaton the lead 12 minutes before the interval and taking their advantage into half-time.
HT: Nuneaton Town 1-0 Northampton Town
Both sides made changes at the break, but it was Northampton who started the brighter as they tried to force their way back into the game, yet Nuneaton almost doubled their lead but for a superb save down low from David Cornell to deny Joe Ironside an almost certain goal.
Just after the hour mark Lawson D’Ath hit a well struck shot across the surface from outside the box, but he too was denied by a routine save, this time Dean Snedker doing well to parry the ball away down to his left – maintaining Boro’s lead in the process.
In the 68th minute Northampton would go even closer as D’Ath’s delivery from the corner was met at the back post by Rod McDonald. The defender saw his header crash back off the woodwork in what looked an almost certain equaliser.
Nuneaton then set about closing out the game which they achieved comfortably in the end. The only sour moment of the evening was the dislocated shoulder suffered by Northampton’s Jak McCourt who lay injured in his own penalty area. The game was then called to a finish a couple of minutes early because of the incident.
FT: Nuneaton Town 1-0 Northampton Town
Nuneaton Town Starting Line Up
1: Zeus De La Pas
2: Alex Penny
3: George Grayson
4: Kristian Scott
5: Kelvin Langmead (C)
6: Connor Anderson
7: Sam Warburton
8: Billy Daniels
9: Colby Bishop
10: Elliot Whitehouse
11: Shaq McDonald