FOOTBALL: THE beautiful game returned to Coventry City Centre on Saturday afternoon as Coventry United hosted Rugby Town in the first qualifying round of the FA Cup.
United have undergone a huge off and on pitch transformation since closing last season’s campaign, with Peter Reynolds taking over as chairman while manager Terry Anderson brought in a handful of new players – including Craig Reid, Mitch Pigeon, Lewis Rankin, Aron Wint, and Kyle Barnett.
Anderson’s men made a solid start to Saturday’s game when keeper Richard Morris sent Craig Read through on goal after nine minutes, but his effort – which lobbed Town keeper Niall Cooper – went wide of the post.
Town soon reorganised after an early scare though to take the lead when a free kick on the left was knocked down into the six-yard box where David Kolodynski struck from close range to hand the visiting side an early advantage.
United were boosted just moments later though when Town’s Josh Thornton was shown a straight red following a harsh tackle on Aaron Wint, which resulted in an on-pitch scrap.
Few opportunities presented either side through the remainder of the second half as Town held onto their one-goal lead by half time.
No changes at half time appeared to benefit United early on as Craig Reid saw his early strike saved.
Despite having only ten men, Rugby Town doubled their lead on 55 minutes when a free kick on the left hand side of the box found the head of Kolodynsk who comfortably scored his second goal of the afternoon.
United tried to respond soon after when a good build up play saw Chris Cox’s shot well saved.
Two further chances were sent wide of target before changes mid-way through the second-half helped United score their first goal as Chris Cox scored from close range with six minutes remaining.
Pressure from United to find an equalising goal couldn’t be translated into a goal though as Town advanced to the second qualifying round.
Town are back in action this Saturday when they travel to Sporting Khalsa to kick-start their Midland Football League Premier Division campaign.