Lambs boss Andy Morrell made two changes to the side that suffered narrow defeat at the hands of Alfreton on Boxing Day, bringing Fowler and Dyer back into the starting line up at the expense of Lee Smith and Josh Heaton. On the Nuneaton side former Lambs player / manager Des Lyttle’s son Tyler made his second start for the home side as both teams set out to return to winning ways after a short run of poor results.
Nuneaton got the game underway with The Lambs attacking the away end in the first half. The home side went close around the 5th minute through Byrne and Reid, but Belshaw was happy to watch the ball rebound around the goalmouth then out of play. The Lambs were 1-0 down after 8 when Chettle drove the ball into the box for Harewood to stab it home from a few yards out. A ball into the Tamworth box from the right by Clifton on 12 was stabbed towards goal by Whitehouse, but he was also upended and caused for a few penalty calls from the home faithful. On 16, Tshinmanga cut the ball back for Whitehouse but he was leaning back when he popped his shot goalward and it lifted over Belshaw’s bar and into the home fans. After finding space on the right wing, Byrne got a shot away on 17 which took a deflection and allowed Harewood to mop up the loose ball and make it 2-0. The inclusion of Taylor for Dyer on 20 livened things up a bit for Tamworth and he forced a corner with a left sided shot that deflected just over the bar on 24. Durrell’s corner was headed by Preston and kicked away from the goal by Lyttle for another corner. Strong was pushed by Harewood as the Lambs defender sprinted for the ball on 34, and when Strong tackled Chettle Harewood reacted badly, with Strong ending up on the floor but was booked for simulation. Durrell’s freekick was headed behind for a corner, and Preston’s header forced a fingertip save from Smith in the Nuneaton goal but the resultant corner came to nothing. Two minutes added time was shown at the end of the first half and Durrell struck a right footed half volley from 25 yards that only just went over the target, shortly before the half time whistle blew.
HT: Nuneaton Town 20 Tamworth
Tamworth got the game back underway but the home side forced a corner in the 46th minute and Belshaw denied Reid with his feet. A freekick from Durrell on 47 found Fowler at the far post but his touch wasn’t quite true enough to test Smith in the home goal and the 223 travelling fans would have to wait for something to cheer about. The home side forced a couple of corners in quick succession but they came to nothing. On 56 Clarke was booked for upended Reid near the centre circle, and a double substitution by the home side added fresh legs to the mix and a foul on the edge of the box set up ‘Boro with a deadball chance on 67. Reid struck it sweetly around the wall and inside the far post past the despairing dive of Belshaw to make it 3-0 to the home side. Morrell made a double change on 71, and Strong pulled back Morgan to set up a freekick on the right which Lane headed and Belshaw tipped over for a corner. A flowing move down the left ended with Strong crossing for Mettam on 79 but the striker somehow missed the target from a few yards out and left Morrell with his head in his hands. As the minutes ticked away it looked increasingly unlikely that Tamworth would get anything at all from the game although Strong did work hard to send in a couple of crosses from the left and force a late corner which Preston nearly converted at the far post but Keane cleared it away. Three minutes added time was shown at the end of the game which ended with the home side taking bragging rights until the next local derby.