Spirited Valley lack goal threat away at Rushden & Diamonds - The Rugby Observer

Spirited Valley lack goal threat away at Rushden & Diamonds

Steve Carpenter 18th Jan, 2017 Updated: 19th Jan, 2017   0

AFC Rushden & Diamonds 3-0 Rugby Town

Evostik NPL – South Division

Match report by Jon Venner

FOOTBALL: THERE was more misery on the road for Town on Tuesday evening, as the hosts eased themselves back into the play-off zone at the Dog and Duck Stadium.

The final margin of victory was perhaps a little harsh on Gary Moran’s side after they put in another spirited performance, but despite Rugby enjoying the majority of the possession they did not really extend home keeper Matt Finlay at all throughout, with Diamonds the team left to create the best of the clear cut scoring opportunities.

Mason Rowley returned to captain the side once more in the heart of the Rugby defence and Leigh Phillips stepped in for the unavailable Aaron Moses-Garvey, but Valley were soon a goal behind when Tom Lorraine headed home Rory Winters’ flick-on to Sam Brown’s long throw after just seven minutes.

A second nearly followed shortly after when ex-Town man Fazel Koriya was denied by Dan Jezeph, with Joe Curtis’s follow-up also blocked, before the visitors registered their closest effort of the night when a Trey Brathwaite free-kick from twenty yards hit the top of Finlay’s crossbar.

Chris Sterling put his well-struck shot straight at Finlay, as Valley’s encouraging response to the early setback continued, with Mason Rowley then firing way over from the edge of the box.

At the other end, Nabil Shariff almost poked one home after a scramble in the area following Lorraine’s initial effort, and Koriya’s goalbound downward header was just scooped up by Jezeph a couple minutes ahead of the break.

The opening chance of the new half saw Callum Westwood shoot over from distance, with Brathwaite also missing the target with another free-kick from a potentially dangerous position.

David Kolodynski low shot was taken at the second attempt by Finlay after he had cut in from the left hand side as the home side struggled make an impact, but the dismissal of Town midfielder Mitchell Thomson midway through the half left Rugby with a mountain to climb and Lorraine and Shariff were soon going close for Rushden.

Shariff then had a header cleared off the line, with Jezeph also making an excellent reaction stop to deny the same player after a Koriya corner.

Sterling and Kyle Rowley had both sent speculative efforts from distance high and wide of the target when perhaps there were better options ahead of them, before the hosts struck twice in the closing minutes to punish a by-now stretched and tiring Town.

Substitute Taylor Orosz got in behind Rugby’s defence on 89 minutes but his attempt was again kept out by Jezeph, but the ball then fell kindly for Koriya to stroke home against his old club, and then in a similar situation this time Orosz managed to squeeze one past Jezeph for Rushden’s third in added-on time.

Turn inside to read Jon Venner’s report from Saturday’s defeat away at Spalding.


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