Nuneaton 3 Stevenage 0

Last updated : 24 August 2002 By Footymad Previewer

Striker Mark Quayle netted a superb hat-trick as sparkling Boro opened their Nationwide Conference win account in style at Manor Park. The former Telford United hitman fired Nuneaton in front just past the half hour mark while a second half brace confirmed their superiority over Stevenage, who were losing their first league game of the season following a win and a draw.

Nuneaton boss Steve Burr said: "Mark took his goals really well but this was another excellent team effort. We could so easily have won all three fixtures as our performances have been superb, the only element that was missing in the two opening games were the goals and they've come today."

It was the visitors who began the brighter and only the agility of keeper Chris MacKenzie kept the hosts on terms as he went full stretch to the left to turn aside Kirk Jackson's downward header.

It was not until the 16th minute that Nuneaton carved out an opening, Jason Peake firing a low 20-yarder which flew across the face of goal and wide of the far post.

Stevenage again took up the running and following a goalmouth scramble, Jackson's overhead volley unluckily struck defender Lee Howey and flew to safety.

But after 31 minutes it was the Warwickshire outfit who made the breakthrough. Keeper Mark Westhead could only punch a Gary Jones header straight to the lurking John Turner and he dummied a defender and crossed low for Quayle to turn home from close range.

After the break, Jackson squandered the chance to level with a poor mistimed header before Nuneaton stretched their lead after 55 minutes. Jones was the creator with a neat flick on header that released his strike partner who cooly raced clear to crash an unstoppable ten-yard shot past a helpless Westhead.

Stevenage had two more chances which went begging before Quayle completed his treble in some style. Andy Thackeray hoisted a long angled pass beyond a napping visiting back division for the alert Quayle to race clear and thump a low left-foot cross shot just inside the far post