Football / FA Cup: Cotterill scuppers Nuneaton's plans

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Nuneaton Borough. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0

Bournemouth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1

NUNEATON Borough's second bite at the Cherries ended in deep disappointment at the Manor Park last night. Bournemouth, the impoverished Second Division visitors, proved too professional and strong for the Beazer Homes Premier Division amateurs and settled this FA Cup second-round replay through Steve Cotterill in the first half. Their reward - of sorts - is an awkward trip to Preston's plastic.

A visit to Deepdale for a long- ball bombardment is hardly the stuff of third-round dreams, but the old pot's ceaseless capacity for romance - and riches - ensured that a fiercely vocal, 4,127-strong crowd, squeezed into Nuneaton's friendly ground, which had already staged the elimination of Second Division Swansea.

John Barton's Blue Army had filled the Cock and Bear stand an hour before kick off, and their patience was rewarded by some commendably flowing attacks, invariably orchestrated by the excellent Gary Bradder and Tony Simpson. Before Bournemouth seized the initiative, Borough could have taken a deserved lead when Mark Rosegreen got a glimpse of goal but struck his left-footed shot wide.

Suitably stung, the visiting professionals put their act together and went ahead after 11 minutes. Mark O'Connor's corner from the left was headed against his own crossbar by Chris Keough, the ball rebounding to Cotterill who shot in from close range.

Richard Attwood, the Nuneaton keeper, kept his team in contention with a series of fine saves in the first half, the highlight being an athletic stop from Joe Parkinson's free-kick.

Even as the sodden pitch turf turned from green to brown, and the spectators' lips from pink to blue, both sets of players refused to relinquish their admirable passing intentions.

Borough, whose forwards had struggled against Bournemouth's rock-solid back line, finally came to life. Peter Green, Mick Shearer and Rosegreen all went close, but it was to no avail. At least, Nuneaton made pounds 32,000 out of the tie. Bournemouth took home a similar sum, and when you are pounds 2.5m in debt every little counts.

Nuneaton Borough (4-4-2): Attwood; Byrne, Keough, Tarry, McGrory; Symonds (Wade, 70), Simpson, Bradder, Shearer; Green, Rosegreen. Substitutes not used: Ridding, Manuel (gk).

Bournemouth (4-4-2): Bartrum; Pennock, Morris, Watson, Masters; McGorry Parkinson, O'Connor, Wood; Fletcher (Murray, 82), Cotterill. Substitutes not used: Chivers, Moss (gk).

Referee: D Gallagher (Banbury).