Valley far from disgraced as visitors win 2-1
Rugby Town 1
Coventry City XI 2
Town acquitted themselves well on a blistering hot evening at Butlin Road on Tuesday, writes Jon Venner.
Having taken the lead after just two minutes against a young City side containing a number of players with first team experience, they battled hard for the remainder of the opening period, although their back-line was twice breached by Coventry ahead of the interval.
A more subdued second half from both sides followed, with the flow of the game as ever affected by a multitude of substitutions throughout it – which saw the introduction of further players likely to form part of Coventry manager Tony Mowbray’s plans for the season, including Ruben Lamerias and Bulgarian international Vladimir Gadzhev.
David Kolodynski opened the scoring after first-choice Sky Blue keeper Reice Charles-Cook had made a hash of his ball out to a defender, allowing Kolodynski to pounce and then slide home a simple finish.
Coventry were quickly into their game though, with most of their early chances falling to striker George Thomas.
Louis Connor first pulled out a very impressive reflex stop to deny Thomas, before saving another strike from him low down to his right.
However, sandwiched in between these two decent saves, City did manage to draw level on 20 minutes when Callum Maycock and Kyle Spence combined well on the edge of Rugby’s box, before Spence coolly stroked home.
Thomas put in a further wayward effort from a decent position, before Kolodynski very nearly restored his side’s advantage with a looping header to Aron Wint’s cross, which Charles-Cook managed to tip onto the bar and then scramble behind for a corner.
Thomas finally struck when he ran onto Spence’s clever through pass, to slip the ball past Connor for what turned out to be the game’s winner not long ahead of the interval.
The second period lacked any real meaningful goalmouth action, although Nathan Fox did blast one over the bar for Town and Coventry substitutes Tom Bayliss and Bilal Sayoud both went close for the visitors with efforts from just outside the box.
Rugby line-up: Connor, Print, Fox, Lavery, Appleton, Lee, Wint, Gooding, Kolodynski, Thorpe, Parsons. Subs: Green , Belcher, Westcarr, Yusef, Ryan.
Coventry line-up: Charles-Cook, Di. Kelly-Evans, Harries, Leahy, Whitmore, Shipley, Stevenson, Maycock, Thomas, Spence, Tudgay. Subs: Addai, Gadzhev, Haynes, Dev. Kelly-Evans, Sayoud, Lameiras, Hickman, Bayliss, Thompson.