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Saturday 12 September 1998: Meadow Park

CITY v. Nuneaton Borough

Dr Martens League Premier Division


City's Team

City announced themselves as genuine title contenders with a hard fought victory against the table toppers and ended Nuneaton's 100% win record. Rosenior was forced to reshuffle the squad with Mainwaring out and Hemmings also failing a late fitness test on his hamstring. In came Tom Rutter for his first start while Fergusson reclaimed his spot at the back, Wyatt switching to the left flank and allowing Holloway to take the right wingback spot.

Nuneaton brought a large away following whose understandable early enthusiasm was in stark contrast to a slumbering T-End. However from the early exchanges it was clear City were up for this match, Tucker and Burns putting in early challenges to set the tone for a bruising encounter. The first chance fell to City as Wyatt's cross set Mings away, but Rutter's eventual shot was charged down by a Borough defence that appeared less than rock solid.

This defensive frailty was again exposed when Burns emerged from a midfield scrap to send a ball over the top of a flat footed Nuneaton back line. Mings charged onto the ball but as he bore down on goal he lost his footing and the chance appeared lost. However Mingsy was able to prod the ball into the path of Andy Tucker who calmly slotted in the crucial goal.

With the T-End now inspired into some sort of life the game became a frenetic midfield battle. The Nuneaton side weren't allowed to settle with City harrying and scrapping for every bit of possession. While Gary Thorne was marshalling Borough danger man Malcolm Christie with ease City almost extended their lead as Burns shot clipped the crossbar.

As the midfield battle became more crowded the match threatened to boil over. City fans found an old friend in Borough winger Richie Williams whose spiteful attentions had led to Keeling's dismissal at Bromsgrove last season. His presence added some zest to an already heated encounter. Wyatt was lucky to escape a booking after a tussle and then Holloway was cautioned after an altercation with Statham. Both managers were glad to get their sides in at half-time before any further problems occoured.

City looked more assured in the second period as Nuneaton were forced to chase the game. Rutter continued to pressure a vulnerable Borough defence and was unfortunate not to benefit as twice he nicked possession in dangerous positions. His cross was cut out by Nuneaton and then minutes later he chose to release Wyatt on the left when a long shot seemed promising. Wyatt however did have a dig with a curling dipping effort that forced a good save from Williams in the Nuneaton goal.

As Borough chased the game Rosenior sent on Steadman for the more attacking Wyatt and also sent Keeling on as a fresh pair of legs to keep the Midlanders occupied with their defence. With Borough desperate to retain their unbeaten record City withstood some late pressure and Mokler forced to beat out a long range shot. However the Gloucester defence stood firm and held on for a famous victory that renewed the belief of all at Meadow Park.

City will have to maintain this form as their next fixture is a visit to second place Hastings where a draw will be seen as a point gained...

Mokler W1-0
Holloway Half-time
G.Thorne 1-0
Wyatt Att.
Kemp (c) 1010
Fergusson City Scorer
Webb Tucker
Burns Bookings
Rutter Mings, Holloway, Burns
Mings Position
Tucker 7th

Keeling (for Rutter, 72) WDWLDW
Cairns Report
Steadman (for Wyatt, 61) T.Towel

Match Reports
City Index