Saturday 15th February 2014
Nuneaton Town: Belshaw, Delfouneso, Cowan, Dean, Sleath, Walker, Streete, Armson, Brown, York, Moult (Pearson). Subs Not Used: Adams, Taylor, Gordon, Trainer.
Hyde FC: Chris Kettings, Josh Brizell, Adam Blakeman, Will Haining, Kelvin Lomax, Liam Tomsett, Adam Thurston, Alex Brown, Scott Spencer, Danny Carlton, Connor Hughes (Jordan Clark). Subs not used: Darren Thornton, Jake Pollard, Rhys Day, James Kirby.
An early James Armson goal was enough to separate the two teams in a lacklustre affair at the windy Sperrin Brewery Stadium.
By George Corrin
In a game of few chances, both managers and the 876 in attendance were left frustrated over either sides lack of creativity, hindered by a strong wind similar to the match played between the two sides at Ewen Fields earlier in the season.
The narrow win moves Nuneaton up to 4th in the table and also condemned the Tigers to their 28th league defeat of the season.
The result also means that Hyde have now ended their four match unbeaten run on the road, after they previously avoided defeat at Southport, Welling United, Runcorn Linnets and Tamworth.
The game itself started very brightly as Nuneaton scored their winning goal after just over a minute of play. The winner was created after James Armson was played in behind the Hyde defence, the midfielder then made no mistake by firing into the top corner after a slight deflection off Kelvin Lomax to make it 1-0 to the Warwickshire side.
Hyde responded well and began to hold a great deal of possession in the middle of the pitch. After some neat passing play from the Tigers, Scott Spencer found himself free on the edge of the Nuneaton area, unfortunately for the striker his low effort was pushed around the post by James Belshaw.
On 36 minutes Nuneaton should have doubled their lead as top goal scorer Louis Moult spurned a golden opportunity. The 21-year-old was set up brilliantly in front of goal by strike partner Andy Brown, however Moult opted not to shoot with the goal at his mercy and played the ball back to Brown on the edge of the area. The striker managed to salvage the move and crossed into Daniel Sleath but his header was easily saved by Chris Kettings.
Just short of half time Hyde were denied an equaliser thanks to a stunning save from Belshaw. After some great build up play between Liam Tomsett and Alex Brown, the ball found its way to Adam Thurston on the edge of the penalty area. The youngster unleashed a wonderful curling effort destined for the top corner, with the Nuneaton keeper brilliantly tipping the shot onto the bar.
The second half saw both teams begin to lose their attacking flair and tempers became frayed, resulting in referee Amy Fearn having to calm the players down on several occasions.
Throughout the half neither side could turn midfield possession into goal scoring opportunities, leaving managers Scott McNiven and Kelvin Wilkin furious on the touch line.
It wasn’t until the 88th minute until Nuneaton finally registered the second half’s first meaningful chance on goal, with Emmit Delfouneso’s low drive forcing a top save out of Kettings.
In second half added time Kettings pulled off another great save, as the keeper managed to tip Armson’s fierce free-kick around the post.