Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Cack-Handed Away Guide XIV: NUNEATON TOWN FC.


Nuneaton Town FC
Liberty Way
CV11 6RR

The Boro

But we call them

Nuneatin, The Tin

Billy basics

Manager: Kevin Wilkin
Founded: 1889/1937/1991/2008
2010/11: 6th, Conference North
2009/10: 2nd, Southern Premier
2008/09: 2nd, Southern Midlands
Highest position: 2006/07: 6th, Conference North (2nd, Alliance Premier as Borough)
Average attendance 2010/11: 953

Who are The Tin?

The Tin have claimed a handful of guises in the past and I'm not sure whether I should let them lay claim to them. Claiming Nuneatin's earlier identities would be like claiming a soggy, unwrapped Chewit from the floor of a changing cubicle at the swimming pool however, so let them have it if it pleases them. 

Tin #1: 1889-born local church team playing on local fields in typical provincial leagues including the Nuneaton League itself, which seems like cheating to me. Folded after getting rid of their ground in 1937.

Tin #2: slightly-less-provincial outfit Nuneaton Borough, who joined the Southern Premier in 1958 reaching the Alliance League in 1979, that famous non-league apex, able to push for the Football League in the mid '80s. With the '90s came Boro's sad decline though, sorta-reforming in the Southern League Midlands. Their second crack at the big-time then came at the Millennium, occasionally tickling the top spot with the ol' non-league feather duster. They ran out of a puff again in 2003 and dropping to the Southern Premier, unable to take the pressure of being in the same league as the Shaymen. History will (may (might (meh, forget it))) repeat itself. 
Election to the Conference North came in 2004, a league they nearly sussed. Then came their Token Big FA Cup Run® in 2006, but a replay in the Third Round at Middlesborough saw them outclassed 5–2. Finally, the big shock came in spring '08 when Nuneatin's long-term directors left due to ill health, leaving a black hole of debt visible for all. Within a few months the club, having invested a tonne in a ground move from Manor Park to their current Liberty Way, had gone bust.

Tin #3: reformed as Nuneaton Town, the buggers only had to drop two leagues and gained promotion the Southern Midlands League on the first time of asking. A second play-off push made good saw The Tin join the Conference North. Especially in The Land of Tinpot however, no-one likes a show-off. A third play-off tournament in the 2010/11 season came to nowt. Now the Shaymen have joined them in the league again, they couldn't have picked a worse time to attempt for promotion. *puffs chest*

The ground

Sources 1 2 3
The Tin's venue since 1937, Manor Park, saw its last fixture at the end of 2007 against Vauxhall Motors. How moving that must have been.

The ground that ended them last time around, Liberty Way, is where we'll meet in February. Being a 21st century ground, it clings to the underbelly of an industrial estate. "At least it's got a proper name!" I hear you say. Well, it actually does have one of those "official" sponsored names. Are you ready for this? Right. The Triton Showers Community Arena. Swoon.

Originally built with a tarpaulin main stand, the busy builders of Nuneaton have recently finished work on a proper 1000-seater just in time for the Great Invasion of the Shaymen. All the other sides boast low terraces which I'm sure will be crammed too.

The town

Busy little market town nine miles from exotic Coventry and 20 miles from Birmingham and Leicester, you spoilt bastards. Home of the English-sounding frittata, if you want to eat with the best of 'em.

Despite being just down the road from Stinckley, Nuneaton is marginally easier to reach. From Manchester Piccadilly, a transfer can be taken from Stoke-on-Trent to Nuneaton. From Leeds, a transfer can be taken from Birmingham New Street. By car, remember not to get lost in Bermuda, eh.

Please recommend us a watering-hole. :(

Will we need to segregate?

In the possible event of a heated promotion battle.


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