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Nuneaton Borough 2-0 Kingstonian

A substantial K's following had travelled North for this Friday evening fixture, and added to the thousands packed into Manor Park. Sadly, the London-based fans left disappointed after seeing their team lose to one of the main contenders for the Conference crown, while Nuneaton's fans were revealed as the quietest collection of 3000 plus people ever. Robin Taylor had kept his place after impressing against Welling, but was playing in a different role. He had the right wing-back position, allowing Tarkan the freedom to roam. And meaning that we weren't allowed to shout at Mustafa to "defend Tarkan, defend" anymore.

Phil Wingfield had the first real chance of the game, when he headed a Pitcher cross into the goalkeeper's arms. A good move involving Mustafa, Patterson and Wingfield ended with a David Leworthy volley being well caught by MacKenzie (who K's fans will remember as the goalkeeper who stopped everything in last year's cup tie with Leyton Orient). Yet it was Nuneaton who took the lead. A good move down the left ended with a cross being deflected past Farrelly by a K's defender. Whether it was Harris or Crossley is unclear - but they're not very likely to argue over it are they?

It has to be said that K's played fairly well in the first half. Mustafa was looking very promising in his more-forward role, and he was in the midst of many movements which ended with K's pressure. Unfortunately no goals were forthcoming. His ball to Luckett was then played long for Pitcher, and this was one of the best chances of the half. Unfortunately Pitcher, trying to walk the ball in, waited for an eternity before being pressured by Angus. He did manage to get in a shot, but saw it go wide of goal. Angus then went close at the other end, when his shot flew just outside Farrelly's left-hand post. The big man probably had it covered, but still it wasn't far away.

Before the break it was K's who were looking more likely to score though. Wingfield took a left-wing corner, which had been won by another Mustafa run, and took it short. Leworthy crossed, Crossley flicked on and saw the ball travel to Mustafa at the corner of the area. He executed the perfect volley and the ball flew straight as an arrow into the bottom right hand corner of the net.

Well, that's what would have happened had the ball not struck Prindiville on the back, as he turned to cower from the ferocious strike, which deflected the ball two inches wide of the post. The resulting corner saw Leworthy shoot home from two yards, but the goal was correctly ruled out for a Matt Crossley "challenge" on a defender. Yet the half had ended with a good spell of K's pressure and all looked good for the second half. Will we ever learn?!

Now the second forty-five was an interesting one. Had the game been on Sky, their mathematicians would probably have reported that K's had around about 75% of the possession. This being nine-tenths of the law, one would expect K's to have come out on top. As it was the possession came to nothing and it was Nuneaton who came away with the points.

Patterson played in Pitcher on the edge of the box and left him with a great chance to score. Instead of taking the shot Pitcher tried to beat the last defender (whom he had already beaten once) which would have allowed him to walk the ball in. It didn't work, and the defender came away with the ball. Luckett had the next chance when he chested down a Patterson pass. The challenge on him was waist high and some appealed for a penalty. A K's throw was the only decision given after the ball had been cleared.

MacKenzie's goal came under a lot of pressure in this half, with numerous corners and chances being created. However, it was astounding that the goalkeeper had absolutely no saves to make. Taylor crossed to Wingfield whose weak header ended up wide, after which Delton Francis proved that he hadn't improved much since leaving Kingsmeadow as he sent a good chance well wide of Farrelly's goal.

There was an interesting tussle involving Angus just after. First of all he assaulted David Leworthy out on the left but got away Scot free. That was until Scot Derek Allan came up and punched him in the head. The referee saw none of this, and only got involved five minutes later when both players again got involved in a tussle, and both were booked.

The best chance of the half fell to Wingfield shortly afterwards. Geoff Pitcher played a ball through which gave the winger the time and space he needed to score the equaliser. He controlled the ball well and looked up from the edge of the area. He was obviously trying to walk the ball in as he took another touch. The result was that the ball rolled into the goalkeeper's grateful arms whilst Wingfield ended up in an embarrassed heap on the ground after falling over. The abuse which he received from the K's fans was probably a bit extreme, but he had certainly had one of his worst games for a long time.

The second goal came for Nuneaton just moments after Wingfield's miss. Wray ran past Luckett on the right and pulled the ball back. Ducros scored from 12 yards and sealed the win for Nuneaton. There were but five minutes remaining and it was clear that the points wouldn't be heading South. There was still time for Pitcher to shoot over from the edge of the box, but this only gets a mention as this was only one of the two efforts on goal all half. The other was a weak header which trickled wide of the post.

So K's can't really complain. They were one down at half time and didn't manage a shot on target in the second half, so they can't really have expected to win the game. Nuneaton didn't play that well, but did enough to beat a below par K's side. Maybe it was something to do with playing a top side. Maybe the squad's not good enough. Maybe it's was a Friday night thing. Maybe it was too cold. Who knows? The simple fact was that K's didn't "buy a ticket" so couldn't "win the prize".

Fri 12th Nov 1999
Manor Park
Football Conference
Nuneaton Borough2
1Steve Farrelly
2Tarkan Mustafa
3Colin Luckett
4Matt Crossley
5Mark Harris
6Derek AllanCautioned
7Gary Patterson
8Geoff Pitcher
9Robin Taylor
10David Leworthy
11Phil Wingfield
12Dwight Marshall
13Richard Hurst
14Simon Stewart
15Danny Smith
16Junior Kadi
Man of the Match
Tarkan Mustafa
Tarkan Mustafa
Match Report By
Gary Ekins