Late winner secures Rugby Town's FA Cup progress over Boldmere

By Jon Venner

Scorer Max Johnson wheels away in delight

PICTURES BY MARTIN PULLEY

FA Cup - Extra Preliminary Round

Rugby Town 1 Boldmere St. Michaels 0

Charlie Evans back in the starting line-up

Substitute Max Johnson struck a late winner as Town scrambled into the next stage of the FA Cup with a scrappy win over ten man Boldmere at Butlin Road last Saturday.

Johnson's crisp 87th strike finished off a rare moment of attacking fluidity from the hosts and in turn earned them a trip to Stone Old Alleynians in the Preliminary Round.

Valley boss Carl Adams made three changes to his previous starting line-up with Omar Recci, Charlie Evans and James Hancocks coming in for Liam Francis, Josh Thomas and the eventual scorer Johnson.

There was some early pressure from Rugby, but apart from David Kolodynski's 13th minute effort after Danico Johnson's neat pass - which was comfortably saved by Mikes' keeper Dan Crane, there was little to show for this.

Omar Recci upended while his brother looks on

At the other end, Robert Thompson-Brown tested Ben Newey from distance and Isai Marselia's poor first touch as he threatened to break clear allowed Newey to easily gather.

Danico Johnson dispatched a free-kick from a potentially dangerous position high of the bar, before the best chance of the half saw Barry Fitzharris also lift one over the frame.

Kolodynski shot on the turn drifted agonisingly wide of the post shortly after the interval, and the half was only seven minutes old when ex-Town man Steve Palmer received a second yellow card for a late tackle on Dylan Parker and with it his marching orders.

Hopes that Rugby would then take advantage of their numerical supremacy were unfounded, and the home side struggled to penetrate a resolute Boldmere defensive line.

Barry Fitzharris provided some welcome control in midfield

Isaac Phillips's shot went wide for the visitors, as the game became increasingly disjointed, although Lee Thomas did fizz a decent ball across the penalty area, but there was no-one within reach to capitalise on it.

With a replay looking increasingly on the cards, Valley fashioned their most impressive attacking play of the game when Danico Johnson and Fitzharris combined well to release Parker down left and his cutback was smartly dummied by one Johnson to allow his namesake to score from ten yards.

Rugby line-up: Newey, Rosser, L.Thomas, O.Recci (Francis), L.Recci, Hancocks (M.Johnson), Kolodynski (Marsden), Fitzharris, Parker, D.Johnson, Evans. Subs not used: J.Thomas, Mpande

Boldmere line-up: Crane, George, Bowen, Lima, Craven, Palmer, Daley, Phillips, Marselia, Thompson-Brown, Hewitt. Subs: Worley, Coton, O'Sullivan, Byrne, McSkeane, Sweeney

Dylan Parker provided cut back for goal

Rugby Star Man: Max Johnson

A minute's applause for Valley legend Tony Mann