Terrific Tevin inspires Valley's cup progress - The Rugby Observer

Terrific Tevin inspires Valley's cup progress

Rugby Editorial 20th Sep, 2017   0

Rugby Town 2 Coventry Sphinx 1

Polymac Packaging League Cup first round

TEVIN Shakespeare’s double saw Rugby Town progress into the next round of the Polymac Packaging League Cup at Butlin Road on Tuesday evening.

Whilst the game lacked the intensity of the recent league encounter between the two sides, it was nevertheless another assured and solid performance from Dave Stringer’s side – with the ground’s new floodlights being used for the first time.

Craig Kelly and Chadd Birch made their first starts of the season in four changes from Valley’s weekend’s opening eleven, with both teams only naming five players each in their starting line-ups from the 0-0 draw two weeks ago.

Town’s strike pairing for the night Birch and Shakespeare threatened from the off, with first Birch shooting over after a powerful run into the Sphinx box and then Shakespeare curling high of the target.

The two players combined for the first goal of the game, when Shakespeare slotted home Birch’s lay-off on thirteen minutes, and Birch was soon firing over again after he had again shown his pace on the left hand side.

Ryan Harkin’s dragged effort just wide of the post represented a rare chance for Coventry, as the visitors finally came into the match towards the end of the first half.

Rugby started the second half well once more though, and Aiden Print’s deflected strike squirmed away for a corner after Josh Ruff had played him in.

Ruff then shot over after a forceful forward surge, before Valley extended their lead just past the hour mark when Kelly’s searching cross fell perfectly for Shakespeare to control, spin and fire home past James Wardle.

Substitute Jamie Hall flashed Print’s cross wide shortly after Town’s second, although Sphinx rallied with their best spell of the game – which saw Charlie Faulkner head over, Demetri Brown hit the outside of the post and Lewis Gwilliams down well to deny Faulkner’s low shot.

Ruben Wiggins-Thomas then should have made it three, but his touch let him down after David Kolodynski had set him up for a relatively straightforward finish.

Kolodynski himself had a decent attempt saved by Wardle and Wiggins-Thomas chipped wide, before the away side grabbed a last minute consolation when Liam Cairns finished off Brown’s low cross to the far post.

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