RUGBY Town were left frustrated after a late penalty denied them a winning start to their 2021-22 United Counties League Premier Division South season.
Playing a first competitive match for 10 months, Carl Adams’ men struck first in their opening fixture at home to Lutterworth Town on Tuesday night, with summer signing Barry Fitzharris putting them ahead just after the hour mark.
Former Stratford Town and Coleshill Town midfielder Fitzharris pounced for a debut goal, slotting home after Danico Johnson raced onto Keenah Rosser’s pass and David Kolodynski turned the ball towards goal.
It had been a sprightly contest, with both sides having chances but Valley seemed to have done enough until Jordan Hayward was penalised for a foul three minutes on time. Striker Tendai Daire stepped up to convert the spot-kick past keeper Ben Newey.
Rugby had end their friendly programme with a 1-1 draw on Saturday at home to Gresley.
Skipper Loyiso Recci volleyed home the Valley equaliser after Gresley had led through Ollie Clarke’s scrambled finish.
Rugby had a chance to win it but Rovers keeper Lewis Fenney saved Kolodynski’s spot-kick.
Rugby turn their attentions to the FA Cup on Saturday when Midland League Premier Division side Boldmere St Michaels head to Butlin Road for an extra preliminary round tie.