FOOTBALL: Borough through to next round of regional Vase on penalties
Former Oxford United player joins the squad
Birmingham County Vase
Darlaston Town 1 Rugby Borough 1 (at 90 mins) Borough win on penalties
For the first match of 2018 Borough travelled to West Midland Regional League club, Darlaston Town, looking to reach the quarter-final stage of the Birmingham County Vase competition, writes Paul Collins.
Darlaston started the game at a high tempo, quickly testing the Borough defence with their striker heading just wide inside the first minute of play.
Borough struggled to keep possession for a good 15 minutes before they began to steadily grow into the game, Ollie Chater eventually getting close enough to hit the side netting.
A very open pattern of play developed, with both sides attacking well, and defenders working hard to counter, Adam Shaw producing a fine cut back along the six-yard box that just needed a slight touch, but with close his efforts were in vain.
Keeper Logan Maketa then made a great save, which produced a counter attack from Shaw, whose shot was deflected over.
The end to end action continued with Maketa producing another great save shortly after to keep the scores level.
Just minutes into the second half Darlaston’s striker was brought down in the box by Maketa, and they took the lead when their penalty was converted by the right full back. The pressure was now on Borough to attack and find the equaliser.
Manager Darran Tank made two substitutions looking to put some fresh energy into play, but the game became even more stretched, until Borough scored the goal they deserved when Jack Blackham headed the ball into the back of the net.
The last minute saw Darlaston do their best to unbalance the score, but Maketa tipped their curling effort over the bar.
With the full-time score 1-1 the game went straight to a penalty shootout.
Rugby Borough’s goalkeeper Logan Maketa continued his superb performance by saving three penalties to send them through, and earn himself the Man of the Match award.
# Speaking after the Vase win, Rugby Borough Manager Darran Tank said: “I’m disappointed we conceded the goal just after half time, but pleased the lads responded well enough to draw level. It was great to finally win a penalty shootout!”
Tank and Aidy Fuller have entered the transfer market, bringing former Oxford United player Jamie Paye into the side to face Anstey Nomads in a re-arranged game on Saturday.
Paye was a scholar at Watford FC before signing a pro contract at Oxford United. He has also had spells at Swindon Town. Tank and Fuller are delighted with his capture.
“Jamie has had a year out of football due to other commitments, but we invited him along to see the set up at Kilsby Lane and the plans for the future, and he was impressed enough to sign straight away.
“He’s not fully fit right now, but give him a few weeks and he’ll be a great asset for us,” added Fuller.
Boroughbeat Nomads 5-2 at home in the first game of the season and Tank expects another three points on Saturday. The games is at Davidson Homes Park, Anstey, with a 3pm kick-off.