Back to back wins boost Valley's promotion aspirations - The Rugby Observer

Back to back wins boost Valley's promotion aspirations

Rugby Editorial 24th Nov, 2017   0

FOOTBALL: VALLEY made it back-to-back wins within three days, with goals from Josh Ruff and Ruben Wiggins-Thomas seeing off bottom side Shawbury at Butlin Road on Tuesday evening.

The win came just 72 hours after Town defeated Haughmond 5-3 away from home.

And the timely six-points in just three days lifted Dave Stringer’s men into the top ten having scored 24 points from 16 games – they still have two games in hand over table topping Sporting Khalsa, who are on 40 points.

Goals from David Kolodynski and Ruben Wiggins-Thomas – five strikes in just 22 minutes – helped Town edge out Haughmond before they hosted Shawbury United at home.

Niall Cooper returned in goal after missing the Haughmond clash, while Aiden Print and Trey Brathwaite occupied full-back berths in three changes from the previous outing.

A surging run down the right wing by Chadd Birch set up the early opener, and his pull-back across the box was helped by a Shawbury foot into the path of Ruff – who powered home past Matt Ballard.

Wiggins-Thomas was the next to breach the visitors’ back-line, but his final shot brought a good save from the legs of Ballard, and then a decent attempt by Ben Ashby was deflected away for a Rugby corner.

United’s only real chance of the first half came when Ben Robinson got free of his marker and ran through towards goal, however Cooper was alert to the danger and was off his line quickly to collect the ball.

Ashby sent another shot wide of the target, before Wiggins-Thomas, Ashby again and David Kolodynski were all denied in a quickfire triple opportunity, and then Ballard pulled off a top drawer save to keep out a first time shot by Kolodynski.

Town’s dominance continued up to the half-time whistle, but they could just not make it count, with an indirect free-kick inside the penalty area – which Ruff blasted against the wall – representing the last strike of the period.

Things started quietly after the interval, and it was the visitors that went closest first when Cooper was down to gather Josh Thomas’s skiddy low corner.

The new half was a quarter of an hour in before the hosts found their feet again, with Kolodynski and Wiggins-Thomas having efforts blocked.

Shortly after this double chance, Kolodynski was taken out in the box by James Askey, but Ballard was equal to Wiggins-Thomas’s resulting spot-kick and the one goal differential maintained.

The penalty miss appeared to buoy Shawbury, and the visitors put in their best spell of the game – with full-back Simon Gregory putting in three impressive strikes from distance, all of which forced Cooper into action.

Wiggins-Thomas and Kolodynski both dragged efforts wide of the target, before Valley finally clinched the game with ten minutes remaining when Ashby’s forceful run into the box ended with him squaring the ball across the face of the goal for Wiggins-Thomas to help it home into the empty net.

There was still time for Ballard to make three more stops to efforts from Wiggins-Thomas, Kolodynski and Ashby, before the referee confirmed the week’s six point haul.

Picture: Martin Pulley. 


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