Jamal Clarke's header is punched clearJamal Clarke's header is punched clear
Jamal Clarke's header is punched clear

Pictures - Rugby Town beat Coventry United at a blustery Butlin Road

Pictures by Martin Pulley - Report by Jon Venner

United Counties League - Premier Division South

Rugby Town 1 Coventry United 0

Valley came out on top of a hard fought local derby against last Saturday, with a second half own goal separating the two sides at a blustery Butlin Road.

The margin of victory could have been much greater but Rugby had found United keeper Reece Francis in inspired form in the first half in particular, although the hosts' pressure finally paid off after the break when the unfortunate Harry Sawyer diverted one across the line.

Max Johnson and James Hancocks were back into the Town starting line-up for the game, and the home side were on top from the off with the strong wind at their backs.

Both David Kolodynski and Edwin Ahenkorah just failed to get a shot off as Rugby spent large periods camped in the visitors' half, with Caine Elliott steering one wide and Ahenkorah having a further effort blocked out.

Francis then pulled off the first of his string of impressive saves to deny Elliott, with Jamal Clarke heading the resulting corner over the bar.

The Coventry gloveman pushed away Kolodynski's strike, after he had found space behind the Coventry defence, before he executed arguably the pick of his stops when he managed to get his fingertips to Dan Summerfield's well-struck angled volley to push it onto the bar.

Kolodynski was denied again after Max Johnson had played him in, as the one-sided affair continued without generating its just reward.

Danico Johnson shot wide after neat build-up play from Valley and both Ahenkorah and Kolodynski missed further good chances in the lead-up to the interval.

Hancocks and Danico Johnson's shots were off-target in the opening exchanges of the new half, before the decisive goal of the game came on 62 minutes.

It came after good work by Kolodynski on the right released Elliott and the midfielder's excellent low cross was inadvertently turned into his own net by Sawyer under pressure from Danico Johnson.

The goal did manage to spark some level of attacking intent from the visitors, with Ash Bodycote finally called into action when comfortably gathering Konnor Frankton's flicked header.

At the other end Danico Johnson fired one wide, before Town's biggest scare of the encounter came when Brian Ndlovu muscled Bodycote off the ball in the box only to see his goalbound shot cleared away by Clarke.

Elliott came closest to adding a second for Rugby late-on, when he burst into the Coventry penalty area - only then to lash the ball beyond the frame.

Rugby line-up: Bodycote, Summerfield, Ahenkorah, Clarke, L.Recci, Rosser, M.Johnson (Locke), Hancocks, Kolodynski (Shaw), D.Johnson, Elliott. Sub not used: Semahimbo, Francis, Parker

Coventry line-up: Francis, Sawyer, Oka-Zeh, Williams, Donaldson, Ritson, Blowers, L.Cairns, Frankton, Hilton, J.Cairns. Subs: Thomas, Ndlovu, Davoile, Pearson, Roscoe

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