RUGBY TOWN: Valley made to dig deep to beat nine-man Newport Pagnell

Lewis Rankin celebrates scoring the winner
Lewis Rankin celebrates scoring the winner

Two goals from Rankin keep up title chase

PICTURES BY MARTIN PULLEY

A very wet manager Carl Adams peers through the driving rain on Saturday

A very wet manager Carl Adams peers through the driving rain on Saturday

Two second-half goals from Lewis Rankin saw Rugby Town to a 2-1 victory over 15th-placed Newport Pagnell in heavy rain and strong winds on Saturday.

Rugby made a slow start and were second best as their hosts went ahead just before half-time, but lost their goalkeeper soon after the break for handling outside the area.

Improving their performance in the second half, Rankin levelled for Rugby in the 71st minute and hit the winner in the 82nd, before Newport Pagnell were awarded their second red card of the game for a late tackle.

Valley remain in second place in the UCL Premier Division, on 38 points, nine behind leaders Daventry with two games in hand. The two meet at Butlin Road on Boxing Day.

Sub Harry Holloway gave some midfield control

Sub Harry Holloway gave some midfield control

In the meantime, this Saturday Rugby Town are away at 12th-placed Wellingborough Town.

Richard Blythe heads in the rain

Richard Blythe heads in the rain

Liam Francis

Liam Francis

Danico Johnson led the attack

Danico Johnson led the attack

Charlie Evans on the left wing against Newport Pagnell

Charlie Evans on the left wing against Newport Pagnell