Nuneaton Town 1 Stockport County 1
Saturday 22nd August 2015;
Match report courtesy of Nuneaton News;
Boro came back from behind to earn a point at the A1 Gas Force Arena.
The game started cagey, with both teams feeling each other out like it was the opening rounds of a boxing bout.
It was Stockport who were trying to go for the knockout early on, but they found the Nuneaton defensive guard an impenetrable one, Jordan Smith in the Boro goal relegated to a mere spectator.
As the minutes ticked on, the Boro let their passing play dominate and it was the home team who ended the half on the front foot.
They could, and probably should have been in the lead as three separate cutbacks from the right hand side were all met by County defenders with no-one from Nuneaton ready in the box to finish the chances off.
Then, when someone was in the box in the shape of Aaron Williams, a shot was taken instead by Marlon Harewood.
However, he could only shoot straight at Danny Hurst when a through ball seemed on.
It would have been against the run of play then had Stockport gone into the break in the lead, but that was very nearly the case if not for Smith in the Boro goal.
On-loan Everton man Calum Dyson, hit a speculative effort from the edge of the box with only seconds left until the break and it looked destined to find the top corner.
Smith was on-hand to deny him, though, using his fingertips to touch the ball onto the crossbar before it bounced out to safety.
That near-miss seemed to give Stockport renewed focus at the beginning of the second half as they were the ones asking the early questions after the restart.
They were not creating any clear-cut openings with their possession, but they were getting into positions that suggested chances were coming.
It was no surprise then when they took the lead in the 69th minute, the only surprise was the quality of the goal.
Glenn Rule was lambasted for his crossing in the first half by County fans, but they had nothing to complain about as the midfielder hit a full volley from 25-yards out that rocketed into the top corner of the net, leaving Smith with no chance.
It was a goal of a lifetime for the Stockport number six, the first that Nuneaton had conceded in more than five and a half hours of football.
It was also the first time the Boro had gone behind this season – a fact they rectified with ten minutes to go.
Harewood had deserved a goal for the way he played and the veteran frontman found room in the area to beautifully place a header into the far corner of the net to draw the sides level.
That was how things finished as Nuneaton remained unbeaten in their first five games of the campaign.
NUNEATON TOWN: J.Smith, Clifton, J.Keane, Lawton, Lane, Reid (C.Keane 64), Morgan, Chettle (Canavan 77), Byrne, Williams, Harewood.
Subs not used: Duffy, Dyer, R.Smith.
STOCKPORT COUNTY: Hurst, Morton, Roberts, O’Hanlon, Thorniley, Rule, Dyson, Montrose, Odejayi (Garvin 59), Robinson (Gonzales 59), Colley (Ledsham 84).
Subs not used: Ellison, Evans.