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Tuesday, August 07, 2018

Match Preview: Nuneaton Borough vs Hereford FC

Following Hereford FC’s staggeringly impressive start to the season on Saturday, the Bulls travel to Nuneaton this evening for their second Vanarama National League North fixture.

It’s that time of the season when the matches come thick and fast, which can be a bit daunting if you’re struggling, but if confidence is high it can be a great opportunity to rack up the points early and build from a solid base. After beating Blyth 3-0 in the opener, it’s to be assumed that the players will be feeling optimistic that they can make the relatively short trip to Warwickshire and come away with something.

It’s virtually impossible to single out individuals from Saturday for praise when it was such a good team performance, but official man of the match Harry White took his goal very well, linked up with the midfield, and generally made life uncomfortable for the whole Blyth back four. However, it was the actual man of the match Eliot Richards through whom so much incisive play came, particularly in the first half. Undoubtedly his best performance in a Bulls shirt.

If everyone’s fit after a gruelling 90 minutes in the heat, it’s unlikely that Pete Beadle will look to change a winning formula, but there are options from the bench, with a strong central midfield further bolstered by Calvin Dinsley’s return from holiday. As well as the effects of the weather, Lance Smith took a hefty blow to his lower back in the second half at the weekend, and perhaps could be a doubt as a result. Reffell (probably) and Symons (certainly) miss out again through injury.

One minor concern from Saturday was that Blyth, when forced to come forward chasing the game, did get round the back of the Bulls defence on a few occasions, and only some poor finishing, luck and last-ditch defending, notably from Ryan Green, kept them out. If they’d scored to make it 2-1 things could have been different.

After finishing 13th last season, Nuneaton have had something of an unsettled summer, with off-field politics concerning the sale of their Liberty Way Stadium to ensure the future of the club, and ex-boss Gary Charles being sacked by social media. However, the Boro battled to a 0-0 draw at Ashton on Saturday after an early sending off. Despite their recent travails, the squad is reported to be largely full time (which on crowds of 600 could cause some more travails imminently!), and this will therefore be a true test for Hereford.

Encouraged by Saturday’s performance, assisted by the trip being one of the closer ones this term, and with the promise of yet more warm evening sunshine, it seems likely that Bulls supporters will travel in numbers for this one. Overall, it looks winnable.

Champions by Christmas.