Fourth placed Tamworth welcomed second placed A5 neighbours Nuneaton to The Lamb for the first time since the rivals’ relegation at the end of the last season as both unbeaten teams went head to head. Andy Morrell made one change to the side that came back from Harrogate with a goalless point, as suspended Curtis Strong made way for Owain Warlow – his first start of the campaign after getting injured in pre-season. Lee Smith also sat out his second of a three suspension.
After a minutes silence in memory of those that lost their lives and were affected by the Shoreham Air Disaster, Nuneaton kicked off towards the Castle End. Belshaw got a touch on a right footed strike from Williams on 5 for a left sided corner which came to nothing, and then quickly at the other end Clarke tried to weave through the Town backline but the ball came back to Warlow and his shot deflected high for keeper Smith to take. Williams tried to chip Belshaw from 30 yards on 9 but it floated over the bar too. Durrell picked up the ball for a freekick on the right on 11 and it was a whisker away from Newton’s head. Burns denied Williams’ goalbound shot with a diving header away from the target on 28 in another display of strong defending, while at the other end Durrell and Newton both tried to get near the target but are denied. Clifton’s shot from 25 yards was easy for Smith, and on 35 Clarke tried his luck with a placed shot from 18 yards but it was straight at Smith. Newton met Burns’ right sided cross with a header on 39 but couldn’t quite get the ball on target. No added time was shown at the end of the half, and it ended goalless.
HT: Tamworth 00 Nuneaton Town
Tamworth restarted proceedings, kicking towards the Castle End, but it was the visitors that pushed forward the strongest in the first few minutes and forced a corner which Durrell hooked clear. As Nuneaton continued to press, Chettle struck from 25 yards on 50, but his effort curled harmlessly well wide of the right hand post. A smart double save from Smith denied Newton twice in quick succession as the Lambs striker bore down on the ball in the area and tried, unsuccessfully to push it past the keeper but with 55 on the clock Nuneaton took the lead through Williams, unmarked at the far post, header from Cieron Keane's left wing cross. (0-1, 55 mins) Morgan struck the Lambs woodwork on 58 as Tamworth had to be on their guard to prevent a quick second goal with some strong defending. Dyer was replaced by Hubbins on the hour and Lane was booked for Nuneaton following a challenge on Taylor on the Lambs right wing. Durrell’s freekick saw Tomassen head for goal but it was easy enough for Smith. Green struck the bar with a right footed drive on 69 that Smith also got his fingers too, but the corner, and one immediately afterwards, came to nothing. A foul on Taylor set up Durrell on 74 and his freekick from 30 yards out nearly found Preston in the box but skipped through and out for a goalkick. Town went close but Williams somehow missed his kick on 75 and Newton ran through but Smith was quickest to the ball from the ensuing play. Harewood struck his first shot of the game on 77 but it span off his boot and failed to trouble Belshaw and Hubbins then forced a corner on the right as Morrell warmed up and replaced Warlow. With a couple of minutes to play Morrell floated a header over Smith from the left to the right but it went just wide of the far post. Clifton was booked for a foul on the Lambs right wing on 89 and Durrell crossed for Morrell to head home under pressure and make it all square (1-1, 90 mins) Three minutes added time were shown at the end of the game and Belshaw used his feet to deny a close range effort from Byrne and take a share of the spoils.
Belshaw, Burns, Warlow (Morrell 79), Taylor, Tomassen, Preston, Durrell, Clarke, Dyer (Hubbins 60), Green (c.), Newton
Subs: Wilkins, Ezewele, Davies
Yellow: none Red: none
Nuneaton Town Team:
Smith J., Clifton, Keane C. (Lawton 67), Keane J, Maguire, Lane, Morgan, Chettle, Harewood, Byrne, Williams
Subs: Duffy, Dyer, Smith R., Canavan
Yellow: Lane 62, Clifton 89 Red: none
Man of the Match: Chosen by Tamworth Business - Andy Burns