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Match Report


Posted Sat 21 Feb 15 at 14:30 PM


Harriers played out an uneventful goalless stalemate at Nuneaton Town as both sides failed to find the net at a windy James Parnell Stadium.

Chances were few and far between in the televised BT Sport fixture and it was a chance missed for Harriers to use the lunchtime kick-off to their advantage and climb closer to a top-five spot with three points.

Even after the rest of today's Vanarama Conference fixtures were played, Harriers remained in eighth after leapfrogging Woking, whose game was postponed.

However, they now lie eight points away from moving into the play-off spots after fifth-placed Forest Green Rovers, who hold a superior goal difference, won this afternoon.

Gary Whild named an unchanged side from last week’s 1-1 draw at home to Woking, with the only alteration to his 16-man squad coming on the bench as Callum Gittings replaced Jordan Tunnicliffe.

Following their first win in five at Gateshead, Nuneaton made three changes to their starting XI as James Armson, Adam Walker and new on-loan Oxford United goalkeeper Max Crocombe replaced Jack Dyer, Robert Ogleby and Christian Dibble.

Lee Hughes had Harriers’ first - and best - goalscoring opportunity of the game around 15 minutes in as he tested debutant Crocombe with a superbly-hit half-volley.

From Kevin Nicholson’s long throw, Jack Byrne and Aman Verma combined to keep possession and it was Verma who sent a delightful flick-on to Hughes, who forced New Zealand under-21 international Crocombe into a tremendous leaping save to his left to deny him his third goal in three appearances.

Hughes had the first shot on target early on with a low effort collected comfortably by Crocombe before, at the other end, Andy Brown blazed a close-range opportunity high over the terraces from a smart Theo Streete cut-back.

Dominic Knowles tried his luck just after the half-hour mark but saw his strike blocked following good build-up play between Hughes, Danny Wright and Jared Hodgkiss, a Harriers effort sandwiched between two Nuneaton shots from James Armson and Adam Walker which were both well saved by Danny Lewis.

Both sides demonstrated their strength at the back as the continual headed clearances of Jamie Grimes and Josh Gowling were well-worth Harriers’ clean sheet, while Streete did brilliantly to halt a charging Wright in his tracks shortly before the interval.

Wildig opened the second half with a crafty shot from the edge of the box, deflected wide by a red shirt, before the Shrewsbury Town loanee - who played his last game for Harriers - picked out Hughes running down the left, but the 38-year-old’s cut-in effort rolled wide.

Keyon Reffell and Ahmed Obeng soon entered the fray for Harriers but it was Nuneaton who were beginning to apply the pressure as Elliott Whitehouse and Adam Walker both had shots on goal, and it was Walker who almost broke the deadlock from a great opportunity with 20 minutes left.

He surged downfield as Boro counter-attacked and found himself in plenty of space to fire a low drive goalward, but Lewis made an excellent save as he dived to his right to keep Nuneaton at bay.

Byrne saw a couple of long-distance strikes fall wide before Connor Franklin almost wrong-footed Lewis with a lobbed effort with mere minutes left on the clock.

You certainly got the impression that one goal would be enough to collect three points for whoever managed to find it as the game wore on, but both sides had to settle for a share of the spoils in an encounter devoid of goalmouth action.

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