BY the skin of my teeth is a phrase that has biblical origins which is quite apt as, by the skin of our teeth, we left Nuneaton with a point despite the pressure being laid on by the home team reaching biblical proportions during the second half.

Saturday’s trip to Nuneaton was a bit of a learning experience both on and off the pitch. Off the pitch, we saw firsthand what a rugby ground redeveloped for shared purposes looked like. Whilst the locals probably aren’t too fond of their edge of the town surroundings, for a visitor looking in, it appears they did a pretty decent job. Hopefully, in a few years time, Blackwell Meadows will feel a bit more complete with similar development.

On the pitch, the game was crazy. After four years of generally pulverising the cannon fodder in the league, Nuneaton Town proved that you can’t take your foot off the gas against anyone in this division. Whilst being a full-time outfit will raise eyebrows, Nuneaton aren’t a Kidderminster or a Fylde. They are more Ilkeston. If you didn’t know they were full-time, you certainly wouldn’t have guessed it. For the first thirty minutes, it looked like a typical Darlo game against a poor side. Nuneaton struggled to get any respite as we dominated possession and created a number good chances. That we didn’t take those chances would come back to ultimately cost us two points although nobody would have guessed how the game would change. Even the locals stood next to us during the first half told of how they were expecting Nuneaton to capitulate. Oh how they were wrong.

Phil Turnbull’s departure to injury – yet another soft tissue injury – robbed the side of its’ chief organiser. During the last ten minutes or so of the first half the all of the second, the lack of leadership began to tell, as did the lack of someone who could put his foot on the ball and just calm things down.

The second half felt like something akin to the Alamo. Wave after wave of home attacks. Fortunately, despite a number of excellent balls going in to the box, nothing came from it. However, eventually, the pressure told and the equaliser came. The pressure continued. All things considered, it ended up being a good point when at times, defeat seemed the only foreseeable outcome.

Martin Gray seemed pretty happy with a point. However, the disarray throughout the team will not have pleased the Darlo boss. You could see him getting cross at half time as he urged his players to hurry back in to the dressing room. That we didn’t lose the game was almost exclusively down to Nuneaton’s lack of a cutting edge. Our defence was disorganised, the midfield was too porous and the forwards just couldn’t keep the ball long enough to ease the pressure.

Anyhow, we get to go again. Wednesday night provides us with the perfect way to bounce back from our struggles against the then-third bottom team with a trip to bottom-placed Bradford Park Avenue. Like Nuneaton, they haven’t won at home yet this season. More worryingly for them, they are conceding on average three goals per game at their Horsfall Stadium and playing in front of the smallest crowds in the division. A paltry 230 turned up to see them concede a regulation three goals to no reply against Worcester City on Saturday.

Hopefully with a bit more discipline and organisation throughout the team when not in possession and more of a cutting edge in front of goal, we can come back from the West Yorkshire with all three points.