PICTURES BY MARTIN PULLEY
Edwin Ahenkorah's second half penalty was enough to help steer Rugby into the First Round Proper of the Vase at Butlin Road last Saturday, writes Jon Venner.
Ahenkorah settled the tie as part of an improved second half performance from the hosts, after a relatively dreary opening period had seen both sides fail to make much of an impact.
Town boss Carl Adams shuffled his pack a little from the midweek league defeat at Hinckley, with Lee Thomas, Justin Marsden and Danico Johnson back into the starting line-up and there was also a full debut for Owen Bennett in the heart of the Valley defence.
The first effort of the game came from the visitors though, when James Hill put one just over the bar from twenty yards after six minutes.
Lamar Parkes's low free-kick was then turned around the post by Tom Haywood, and although the home side went on to hold the upper hand in terms of possession, they once more looked lacking in the final third.
It was instead Wulfrunians that carved out the best chance of the remainder of the half, with Ash Bodycote pulling off a decent save to another strike by Hill, after he had skipped past a couple of Rugby defenders.
The game's decisive moment came with the new period just five minutes old, when Ahenkorah was fouled in the penalty box and the Valley striker picked himself up to stroke the spot-kick home.
Town pressed immediately for a second, with Parkes having two shots within quick succession. His first effort from a tight angle was just kept out by Haywood and his subsequent strike from the edge of the area sailed over the bar.
Valley sub Jordan Hayward was then denied a shooting opportunity by a well-timed saving tackle, before Robert Nanna blazed over for the visitors from distance in a rare threatening moment from them.
Johnson missed out on a good opportunity when through on goal, with Marsden seeing his effort tipped over the bar by Haywood and Dylan Parker also putting one wide. David Kolodynski also missed out on a good chance late on.
Rugby line-up: Bodycote, English, L.Thomas, Bennett (Hayward), L.Recci, Fitzpatrick, Ahenkorah (Kolodynski), O.Recci, Parks (Parker), D.Johnson, Marsden. Sub not used: Hancocks
Wulfrunians line-up: Haywood, Jackson, Nanna, Gregg, Jevons, Rowley, Meddows, Hill, Poole, Dell, Bishop. Subs: Greer, McKay, Madamba, East, Johnson
Rugby Star Man: Lamar Parkes