Two strikes in three minutes earn Valley the points and revenge for Boxing Day defeat
PICTUERS BY MARTIN PULLEY
Midland Football League – Premier Division
Rugby Town 3 Shepshed Dynamo 2
Town struck twice in three minutes late in the game to overturn Dynamo’s advantage, after the visitors themselves had turned things around from David Kolodynski’s first half opener.
Stuart Hendrie and Sam Belcher were also both on target for Valley last Saturday, as the hosts gained revenge for their Boxing Day defeat at the Dovecote Stadium.
Rugby boss Dave Stringer made one change from the disappointing defeat at Lye the previous weekend, with Kolodynski restored to the starting line-up in place of Sam Beasley.
In the game’s early tentative exchanges, Remie Birch picked out Ruben Wiggins-Thomas in the box – but his subsequent attempt to find Kolodynski fell just short, whilst Josh Ruff drilled a free-kick into the base of the Shepshed defensive wall.
The first real opportunity fell to the visitors on sixteen minutes though, when Town keeper Niall Cooper struggled to control Sean Castleton’s adventurous back-pass – giving Shay Brennan the chance to square the ball to Read, who duly dragged it wide of the target.
Cooper then did well to keep out a low strike from Brennan shortly after, with Niall Prenderville helping the rebound onto the post.
Therefore it was against the run of play when Rugby took the lead on 21 minutes, when James Dance did well to get in front of his marker to push an excellent searching cross by Ruff into the path of Kolodynski – who coolly slotted home into an empty net.
Castleton, Dance and Hendrie all had shots blocked by Dynamo defenders, as the home side sought to double their advantage, but poor Town marking from a Liam Hurst corner saw Shepshed level again, with Read ultimately finishing off from close range.
Another Ruff free-kick ahead of the interval stretched keeper Denham Hinds, with the first chance of the new period also falling to Valley, when Hendrie lifted one over the bar after neat build-up play involving John Mills and Harry Holloway.
Read grabbed another tap-in – thanks to a Brennan assist – just after the hour mark to give his side the lead, although Wiggins-Thomas almost immediately equalised with a well-struck effort, which Hinds did well to get a strong hand to and push away.
Tom Hill’s corner floated dangerously across Cooper’s goal as the game stepped up a gear as it entered the final quarter of an hour, whilst at the other end a Kolodynski strike from the edge of penalty area was deflected just over the bar, after the Town striker had cut in from the left hand side.
A quality header by Hendrie on 80 minutes to an equally good cross by Holloway did make it two apiece though, and then Belcher was soon rolling in Kolodynski’s cut back for what turned out to be the decider.
Cooper ensured the three points were Rugby’s with a late save to Prenderville’s header from point-blank range.