I bet Nuneaton Borough fans never thought they'd see the day that their team is leading a story on ESPN...
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Was this the worst penalty ever?
Look: the people here at Toe Poke HQ understand how stressful and difficult it can be to successfully convert a penalty. The ball may only be 12 yards from goal but there's usually a guy with gloves standing between you and glory. Not to mention that if you approach the kick with a bit too much gusto, there's every chance in the world that you blast it a mile wide in any direction.
And so we come to this weekend's SportsCenter Not Top 10 effort from a non-league goalkeeper in England that has us in absolute awe.
Picture the scene: it's 0-0 with 61 minutes gone in a clash between Nuneaton Borough and Stratford Town, teams in the Southern Premier Central, England's seventh tier in the football pyramid. The home team, Nuneaton, have a penalty. Despite Nuneaton having 10 able outfield players who could take the kick, up steps Boro goalkeeper Tony Breeden from the other end.
The official team Twitter account couldn't believe it.
TONY BREEDEN IS TAKING???!!!— Nuneaton Borough F.C. (@NuneatonBoroFC) November 16, 2019
And maybe they were right to sound so skeptical, because...
Oh dear, Tony. Tony, oh no.
And it looks even worse from the reverse angle.
Yes lads got the best view😂😂 pic.twitter.com/KGKNdBvBps— Joe Vernon🍋 (@joevernon_) November 16, 2019
To be fair, Breeden was in on the joke after the match -- Nuneaton went on to win 2-0, with Joe Kettle scoring five minutes after this absolute moonshot and Joel Powell converting a late penalty because they weren't letting the goalkeeper take another -- and enjoyed his moment of absolute shame.
We humbly ask, also, that EA Sports consider this for the cover of FIFA 21:
☄️☄️☄️ pic.twitter.com/c2F2NrkGum— Nuneaton Borough F.C. (@NuneatonBoroFC) November 16, 2019
As we said at the beginning, taking a penalty is never an automatic goal or a foregone conclusion but the folks at Toe Poke HQ reckon we could do better than this one.
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Salford City gets visit from more ex-United legends
Not every league takes a break for the international windows, as the rest of England's pro sides were in action this weekend to fit in some vital games. We've written before about Salford City thanks to their "Class of '92" ownership with Gary Neville and Paul Scholes at the forefront of their rise into League Two.
On Saturday, they had some added inspiration to get a result against Swindon Town -- in the form of former Man United striker Ruud van Nistelrooy!
RvN, now firmly enjoying a well-deserved retirement, won the Premier League with Man United in 2002-03 and went on to win two titles in Spain with Real Madrid, but he still has time for his old pals (as evidenced by the photo popping up on GNev's Twitter feed) and decided to swing through and watch the Lions in action.
Alas, the striker known for his impeccable timing around goal wasn't so fortunate in his weekend at Salford: They lost 3-2 to Swindon despite two goals for Adam Rooney -- no relation to Wayne -- as an Eoin Doyle brace and a strike from Jerry Yates gave the visitors all three points.