FOOTBALL - Rugby Town beaten by Coventry Sphinx in fiery derby defeat - The Rugby Observer

FOOTBALL - Rugby Town beaten by Coventry Sphinx in fiery derby defeat

Aaron Sutcliffe 2nd Oct, 2023 Updated: 4th Oct, 2023   0

RUGBY Town suffered a frustrating 2-1 defeat in a fiery local derby against Coventry Sphinx as debutant goalkeeper Nykah Liburd-Hines saw red in the second half.

Valley took the lead through Luke English’s first-half goal only for Callum Woodward to level from the penalty spot after the break at Butlin Road.

However, Rugby’s debut keeper Liburd-Hines saw red in the aftermath of the spot kick for tripping goalscorer Woodward.

With no substitute goalkeeper on the bench, Valley defender English took the gloves before Coventry’s Jack Downes saw red for a second bookable offence with both teams now playing with 10-men.

And Sphinx striker Matthew Shipman scored the winner with 12 minutes left to play to inflict a third successive league defeat on Carl Adams’ side.

The result means Rugby sit 18th in the Northern Premier League Midlands table, one point above the relegation zone.




Valley broke the deadlock on 33 minutes when English’s close range shot looped over the line despite the best efforts of a Sphinx defender to hook the ball clear.

However, Coventry won a penalty just past the hour mark when Loyiso Recci committed a foul on Jac Redhead in the box as Woodward confidently converted the resulting spot kick into the left corner of the goal on 62 minutes.


As Woodward went to retrieve the ball, Rugby’s debutant goalkeeper Liburd-Hines tripped the scorer with the referee deeming the offence worthy of a straight red card.

And the referee brandished another red card just two minutes later after Downes caught Ryan Sahota on the ankle having already received a yellow card earlier in the contest.

However, Sphinx completed the turnaround on 78 minutes when Shipman’s low volley found the bottom left corner after Valley failed to deal with a long throw from the right.

Rugby are next in action away at Coleshill Town on Saturday, October 7 with kick-off at 3pm at Pack Meadow.

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