RUGBY Town slipped to their first defeat in four matches after a late goal earned Stocksbridge a narrow 2-1 win in the Northern Premier League Division 1 South, reports Jon Venner.
Valley conceded late in the game to go down to a narrow defeat against their Yorkshire rivals on Saturday.
Manager Dale Belford kept faith with the same side that got a point against Spalding the week before as continually builds up a settled side.
Rugby were out of the traps the quickest with Matt Curley having a header go over the bar from Callum Powell’s decent cross in the second minutes.
And on nine minutes Kevin Thornton had a decent shot from 18 yards out from David Kolodynski’s lay off.
However, the decent start was shattered when the visitors went ahead in the seventh minute when a cross-field ball from Corey Gregory found Harrison Biggins in space and his fizzing shot went past the oncoming Valley keeper Sam Andrew and into the net. Just minutes later though, Rugby nearly equalised when Thornton forced a fingertip save from David Reay in the Stocksbridge goal, and was close again when another shot was blocked on the line.
Rugby were really pressuring and got back into the game in the 17th minute when Chris Tullin scored his first goal for the club since returning. Amidst a scramble he bundled the ball over the line after an initial corner.
The game was now end to end, and Adam Hinchliffe nearly put Stocksbridge back into the game with a close powerful header but it went slightly wide and Kolodynski had a cheeky shot from distance after seeing Reay off his line, though his effort went wide.
The second half was less entertaining coupled with many substitutions, though the impressive Thornton was always a danger and produced a close range shot from Powell’s run. In the 76th minute, Rugby sub., Jake Healy who was in acres of space should have scored from Curley’s pass but the keeper smothered his effort. Stocksbridge scored the winning goal in the 88th minute when a rare error by Mason Rowley whose back pass was misdirected and subtistute Ben Rhodes took up the ball and slotted past Andrew.