David Kolodynski celebrates heading in the second goal

Pictures - FA Vase victory for Rugby Town at Belper United

Valley through to second round with a home tie against Hinckley LRFC on November 20

Thursday, 28th October 2021, 7:10 am
Updated Thursday, 28th October 2021, 7:12 am

PICTURES BY MARTIN PULLEY

FA Vase - First Round Proper : Belper United 1 Rugby Town 2

Town progressed to the next stage of the Vase with a very hard fought for win against lower league opposition on a slippery Christchurch Meadow surface, writes Jon Venner.

A goal in each half from Danico Johnson and David Kolodynski guided Valley through an at times feisty encounter, with a home tie against Hinckley LR the reward for Carl Adams' s men in the Second Round Proper of the competition.

Adams made three changes to his starting line-up for the game, with James Hancocks, Barry Fitzharris and David Kolodynski back into the team. Keeper Jake Woodward retained his place between the sticks, having stepped in as a late replacement the previous weekend.

Having survived an early strong appeal from the home side for a penalty, Rugby then took the lead on twelve minutes after Edwin Ahenkorah's neat through ball saw Johnson take full advantage of defensive hesitancy to calmly round United keeper Curtis Hall and slot home.

As the visitors to seize the initiative further, Fitzharris's shot from distance drifted wide of the target and Ahenkorah twice threatened, with his first chance finding the side netting and his second flying over the bar.

Belper pulled themselves level on 29 minutes though, when Richard Hanslow created himself some space in the Town box before prodding the ball past the advancing Woodward.

The hosts then nearly snatched the lead when Chris Jones header came back off the bar, although Valley missed out on a good opportunity of their own just before the interval, with Hall just getting back to his line in time to gather Kolodynski's attempted chip.

A weak strike from Johnson represented the first goalmouth action of the new period, but Rugby were soon back ahead when Kolodynski met Justin Marsden's corner to the near post and he cleverly headed it beyond Hall into the far side of the goal.

Joe Conkleton's well-struck effort fell wide of Woodward's post and the returning Jamal Clarke did well to block one from Hanslow, as United looked for another equaliser, but clear cut chances for them were generally few and far between.

As gaps began to open up in the home defence, it was in fact Rugby that came closest to scoring again, with Hall pulling off a decent stop to deny Ahenkorah from a tight angle and Kolodynski only able to divert the ball into the keeper's arms from a great position after good work on the left from Johnson.

Dylan Parker also almost registered a third for Valley late on when he got in behind the Belper back-line, but his strike was blocked out by a defender.

Rugby line-up: Woodward, English, Hancocks (Parker), Rosser, L.Recci, O.Recci, Marsden (Clarke), Fitzharris, Kolodynski, D.Johnson, Ahenkorah. Sub not used: Francis, Parkes, Bodycote

Belper line-up: Hall, Mather, Conkleton, Allen, Guy, Simpson, Baker, Jones, Hanslow, Tyson, Osman. Subs: Dodds, Thompson, Haughton, Butcher, Mulonga, Gregory, Ollett

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