Nuneaton Borough advanced through to the third round of the Birmingham Senior Cup on Tuesday night (24th November) after narrowly overcoming Sutton Coldfield 1-0.
The Royals made life difficult for Nuneaton despite being managerless after sacking Neil Tooth last week. However, an own goal off a Sutton Coldfield defender in the 62nd minute proved to be the match winner and the Royals winless streak now stretches to five games.
Both sides came into the tie just outside the bottom three of their respective leagues with Sutton Coldfield on 12 points after 15 games in the NPL Division One table and Nuneaton level on points (15) with Lowestoft who are in the SFL Premier Division Central relegation zone.
In a cagey first quarter, you could tell neither side wanted to lose but it would be the Boro who threatened first with Anthony Dwyer bound to score in the 23rd minute had it not been for Royals keeper Lewis Gwilliams, saving the shot with his legs.
However, Sutton Coldfield nearly responded immediately to the visitors’ pressure with a goal after the lively Lamin Dampha spotted Boro’s keeper Kryzstof Zylski off his line and attempted a 30-yard lob only for it to hit the roof of the net.
The final quarter of the first half proved to be end-to-end with both sides getting closer to breaking the deadlock. Nuneaton’s striker Danny King had a host of chances to score including a counterattack from a Sutton Coldfield corner which he failed to finish.
Sutton Coldfield too had chances with Jack Burgess, Isai Marselia and Dampha all forcing Zylski into saves before the half finished 0-0.
The second period proved to be a more one-sided affair with Jimmy Ginnelly’s men dominating possession for the rest of the match, eventually ending in the Boro’s favour on the 62nd mark.
It may have been an own goal, but Ryan Edmunds was the architect after he put on an impressive run on the right-hand side before crossing into the danger area, the ball deflecting off a Royals defender into the net to make it 1-0.
It wasn’t all done and dusted though with Royals substitute Harry Eden dispossessing Leroy Lita in the 89th minute just outside the Boro’s box but the ex-Bristol City and Reading defender was spared his blushes after Zylski quickly came out to sweep the ball away from danger.
That proved to be the final big chance of the game with Nuneaton finishing as 1-0 winners at Coles Lane.
The Warwickshire side will now look forward to the third round of the tournament whereas Sutton Coldfield will look to improve on their recent form and find a new manager.