The Bucks began 2019 as they had ended 2018, with a victory;
however, the circumstances of their win at Liberty Way were markedly different
from the victory over Nuneaton on Boxing Day and Leamington three days later.
With an unchanged starting eleven, optimism was high, but an
extremely sluggish start, allied to a Nuneaton performance full of vigour and
endeavour, had the Bucks looking like they had staggered in late from Hogmanay.
Prompted by the excellent Carl Baker, Boro pressed, denying the Bucks possession
and the chance to settle. Baker had already had a shot saved by Andy Wycherley
when, on 19 minutes, they took the lead. Former Buck Jordan Lussey, a recent
Boro signing, found space in the box to shoot; Wycherley saved well but the
ball ran to Ryan Edmunds and he finished high into the net from little more
than six yards.
Buoyed by the goal, Boro continued to look the more
threatening as the Bucks laboured. Amari Morgan-Smith had their best chance of
the half, heading wide from a right-wing cross, whilst just after the half-hour
Dior Angus headed narrowly over after Baker’s fine run and cross.
HALF TIME: Nuneaton Borough 1 AFC Telford United 0
Gavin Cowan replaced Jon Royle at the interval, James
McQuilkin the man introduced, and he helped engineer the Bucks revival, though
it took some time to arrive. Andre Brown and Henry Cowans also came on, replacing
Morgan-Smith and Ryan Barnett, and the two were to help swing the game the
Boro couldn’t maintain their energy levels, and with around 20
minutes to go the Bucks started to break the defensive lines with more
frequency. Knights shot wide when played through, whilst new signing Brendon
Daniels started to click. His fine free-kick, saved by Belford, resulted in a
corner which Brown headed home at the far post on 79 minutes. Four minutes
later the turnaround was complete, as another cross from the left was met six
yards out by Cowans to score.
The hosts couldn’t find a second wind, and it took a
terrific interception from defender Mike Calveley to stop Daniel Udoh making it
3-1; keeper Belford hit a clearance straight at Udoh, who couldn’t beat
Calveley to the loose ball.
It mattered not; the Bucks saw the game through. They had been
well below par, but still had the three points.Nuneaton Borough: Belford
(c), Obeng, Kelly-Evans, Calveley, Addison, Hildreth, Baker, Lussey (Lyne 72),
Angus, Edmunds (Panayiotou 83), Leek (Jennings 83).
Unused Substitutes: Basso, Morrison.
Scorers: Edmunds (19).
Bookings: Addison, Kelly-Evans.