Unchanged team from opening weekend, but different result for Carl Adams’ men
United Counties League – Premier Division
Leicester Nirvana 2 Rugby Town 0
Town were unable to build on their impressive opening day success, when they were deservedly beaten at Sandhills Avenue on Tuesday evening.
A goal in each half gave Nirvana the victory on a surprisingly windy Leicestershire night in a stop-start, niggly encounter which lacked any real quality as a result.
Rugby manager Carl Adams had named an unchanged starting line-up for the game, although player/assistant manager Justin Marsden did return to the bench after he had missed the 4-0 win at Peterborough Northern Star at the weekend.
Valley almost took another early lead when Dominic Perkins flicked on Loyiso Recci’s long throw at the near post, but a Leicester defender managed to clear the ball off the line.
The visitors’ early promise continued when Richard Blythe showed good feet to go through on goal, but his subsequent poked effort was well saved by Chay Carter.
However the home side soon got into their stride, and Suleiman Nassor drew a decent stop from Matt Hill, before Nickesh Savjani floated a free-kick just over the bar.
Another Rugby long throw then saw Luke Edwards head in, but this was chalked off for an infringement.
The hosts took the lead on 20 minutes though, when a quick Leicester counter-attack caught Town napping with Nassor breaking free to put in a low cross for his strike partner Jordan Nelson to help home.
Nelson almost set-up Yaegan Gore for a second shortly after, but the full-back miskicked his effort, with an Edwards’ defensive error then almost giving the hosts another run on goal.
Meanwhile at the other end Lewis Rankin was almost in, but the uneven surface slowed him up and his eventual shot was blocked, with the same Rugby player then appearing to be taken out in the box by Carter - but alas not in the opinion of match referee Abdul Kadir.
The home side almost added to their advantage just after the restart, but Shaquille Master’s low effort drifted just wide, before the generally unimpressive Kadir turned down another Town penalty appeal after Blythe’s attempted flick past his marker looked to strike a Nirvana hand.
Saturday’s hat-trick hero Danico Johnson put in a strong shot to Lee Thomas’s delivery, but Carter just managed to cling onto the ball, before Leicester sealed the victory from another swift break which saw roles reversed and Nelson set-up Nassor for a straighforward finish with fifteen minutes remaining.
Another half chance for Rugby saw Johnson miss out on a late consolation for the visitors when he could only put his half volley over the target from a decent position.