Aaron Parkinson made two changes to the team that started at Cogenhoe last Saturday. Dean Lukeman came in for the rested Dan Childs at left-back, while Adam Confue was back in after returning from suspension at the expenses of Phil Cassidy. New dual signing, Sam Jackson, from Coventry Sphinx FC was named on the bench.
Adam Creaney’s second-half penalty was enough to see off a resolute Nirvana side at Elderstubbs on Saturday.
Despite dominating possession and chances created throughout the game, it needed Creaney’s 67th minute spot kick to break the deadlock and ultimately win the game as David Clay’s side proved to be a typically tough unit to penetrate.
We controlled the first half with Michael Antkowiak making good saves from Taylor Orosz and Kieran Fitzgerald, and Emery putting a drive over the bar after a good move among our best chances, but we couldn’t find a way through by the interval.
Nirvana did have a couple of sights of goal in the opening period. Shaq Master connected with Joe Jarvis’ cross on the half hour mark which forced Lustin Cerga to dive low and collect, and they had a glorious chance six minutes later, Chris Anastasi slipping at the vital moment when volleying with only Cerga to beat, easy for keeper to collect.
Antkowiak was called into action again by Creaney early in the second period before we eventually opened the scoring.
The entertainment value was raised before the hour, as Town seemed to be given a spot kick when Fitzgerald was tripped. The referee deemed to have pointed to the spot so Creaney picked up the ball, Rich Gerald was booked, and the players gathered outside the area. Was not to be as goal kick was actually awarded, and the booking was awarded for an earlier offence.
Another twist in the tail was not far away, as referee Martin Gospel pulled his hamstring, so assistant Keith Lawrence became the man in the middle. Our Committee Member and qualified referee, Craig Turnbull, stepped in and became the third official on the hour.
Seven minutes later, the deadlock was broken as Fitzgerald was brought down by Ryan Calver inside the area and Creaney buried his penalty, driving the ball into the top left with Antkowiak diving the same way.
Further chances fell to Fitzgerald, who hit the side-netting, and Creaney, his curling effort deflecting off Dean Master and away for a corner. We held firm, though, making it 7 wins and three draws from our 10 Premier Division games at Elderstubbs this season and keeping the gap from second place Deeping to four points.
We have a midweek game ahead of us, when we take on Oadby Town. Nick Brett’s side has hit a bit of a rocky patch lately and are currently on a run of three wins in their last 10. Kick-off at Elderstubbs, this Tuesday, is at 7.45pm.
Town: Cerga, Merrill, Lukeman, Harris (c), Alexander, Confue, Fitzgerald, McGowan (Stanbridge 69), Emery, Creaney (J Orosz 81), T Orosz (Cassidy 77). Substitutes (not used): Childs, Jackson.
Nirvana: Antkowiak, Jarvis, D Master, Calver, Gerald (c), Poulton, Anastasi, Swain, Nassor, Gonga, S Master. Substitutes (not used): Wingfield, Cisse, Nelson.
Goals: Town – Creaney 67 (pen).
Yellow cards: Nirvana – S Master (Foul), Gerald (Foul).
|Daventry Town FC||1||1||Win|
|Leicester Nirvana FC||0||0||Loss|
|February 16, 2019||3:00 pm||United Counties League||2019||90'|