RUGBY TOWN: Late double settles dour affair against Harborough
PICTURES BY MARTIN PULLEY
United Counties League - Premier Division
Rugby Town 2 Harborough Town 0
Valley scored twice in the final stages of the game to see off mid-table opposition at Butlin Road last Saturday.
The introduction of substitutes Kurtis Revan and Caine Elliott appeared to give Rugby some extra energy after a dour and uneventful opening hour of the contest, with Revan giving his side a 78th minute lead before Danico Johnson doubled the tally ahead of the final whistle.
Town were unchanged for the third fixture in a row, and they looked to make an instant impact with Johnson volleying wide in the opening minutes.
It was however a generally scrappy start to the game, although Liam Francis did see his stooping header to Ryan Seal's corner cleared off the line.
In other first half chances, Harborough's Freddie Robinson's weak shot failed to trouble Matt Hill, with Hill later safely gathering a looping header by Daniel Forbes.
For the hosts, another dangerous Seal corner was punched away one-handed by keeper Daniel Farrell just before the referee's brought a welcome end to proceedings.
The second period commenced in a similarly drab fashion, with the only real opportunity of its opening exchanges seeing Francis's challenge on Farrell in the six-yard box adjudged illegal after Seal's initial volley had looped up off a defender.
James Hancocks curled one off-target and Johnson did finally test Farrell with a decent strike, with Keenah Rosser just unable to capitalise on the rebound.
Callum Milne put in two efforts for the visitors and Joel Konteh's rising shot was taken at the second attempt by Hill, as Harborough went on to mount their most threatening spell of the game.
Town's double substitution provided them with the necessary impetus though, and the stalemate was broken when Revan calmly side-footed home after Seal had shown equal composure in setting him up.
Rugby ended the game on top, and Francis nearly finished off a Seal free-kick, whilst Revan twice went close to adding another - first firing over on the turn and then seeing his effort nestle between Farrell's legs after Lee Thomas had played him in behind the Harborough defence.
Valley's second did arrive with two minutes of normal time remaining, after Johnson's determined run down the right flank and by-line ended with him cutting back into the area and dispatching the ball low into net.