Nuneaton Borough 1-1 Brackley Town
Boro' in the hat for the third qualifying round as Mitchell strikes takes tie to replay...
Nuneaton Borough fought back from a half-time deficit to claim a 1-1 draw at home to Brackley Town in the 2nd Qualifying Round of the Emirates FA Cup. A second half strike from Kairo Mitchell pulled the Boro’ level after Cam Belford’s own goal in the first half had given the Saints the lead. Miles Addison became the third Borough player to be dismissed in stoppage time this season when his rugged challenge had Referee, James Bell, reaching for his back pocket.
Boro’ enjoyed a good spell to open the game but a lengthy stoppage for treatment to Addison’s head injury interrupted the hosts’ flow. Both sides traded blows for the opening half an hour before Brackley broke the deadlock in the 31st minute. There was an element of fortune to the goal as Belford punched in to his own net while he appeared to be pushed from behind by Glen Walker.
Carl Baker, who made an assured home debut, found, another man making his first appearance at Liberty Way, in the shape of Adam McGurk, with a trademark pinpoint accurate ball in to the box. The chance came on the stroke of half-time but the Northern Irish striker couldn’t keep his effort down, under pressure from Gaz Dean, and shot wide.
Nuneaton created the best opening of the early exchanges in the second half, Belford collecting the ball and firing a kick up to McGurk in the centre-circle. The former Portsmouth man drove forward and picked out Mitchell, whose shot was pushed around the post for a corner. From the resulting set-piece Addison headed back across goal for Mitchell to drive home the equaliser.
Both sides will feel they could have won the match as they created a handful of opportunities to score again, with Nicky Eaden and Kevin Wilkin making positive substitutions as both sides looked for the win. A good performance from the hosts had the gloss removed as Addison’s red card deep in stoppage time saw Boro’ down to 10 men.
The two sides will meet for the third time in a month as they face-off at St. James’ Park on Tuesday evening in the replay. Ash Carter returns from suspension and will hope to make an immediate return to the starting line-up.
Nuneaton Borough: Belford; Obeng, Freestone, Burns, Addison ©; Wesolowski (Andoh 75), Baker, Richards, Kelly-Evans; McGurk (Benjamin 66), Mitchell.
Substitutes: Wharton, Basso, Andoh, Benjamin, Blackham, Corcoran.
Goals: Mitchell (55),
Cautions: Andoh (79), Obeng (89)
Sent off: Addison (90+3)
Brackley Town: Lewis; Myles, Walker (Glen), Hall, Dean ©; Byrne, Fairlamb (Franklin 68), Nti (Armson 57), Walker (Adam); Ndlovu, Jeffers (Lowe 57).
Substitutes: Lowe, Franklin, Armson, Noon.
Goals: Belford (OG 31)
Sent off: None