Calor League – Central Division
Rugby Town 0
Chalfont St Peter 0
Town’s stuttering form continued at Butlin Road last Saturday, when they failed to see off a Chalfont side – who whilst spirited in their overall approach, also offered little or no threat offensively.
Rugby generally struggled to break down the visitors’ defence though, and on the rare occasions they did, they found Saints’ keeper Michael Power-Simpson in good form.
Justin Marsden had almost given Valley the perfect start, when he nearly poked home Jared Cunniff’s lofted pass after a couple of minutes, before a well-struck free-kick from distance by Nathan Fox struck the apex of bar and post.
Town’s best moments during the first half tended to originate from the right, with Jamie Towers – back in the starting line-up for the suspended Greg Kaziboni – usually the main threat, including one flashed low cross from the winger which just eluded his team-mates.
Power-Simpson then pulled off a series of stops in close succession from three separate plays.
First he did well at the near post to keep out David Kolodynski’s shot, after Seb Lake-Gaskin had picked him out with an impressive reverse pass.
Then Towers again skipped past his marker, before picking out Marsden – whose deflected effort saw Power-Simpson make an excellent reaction save. Finally, it was Kolodynski that was denied once more, when he headed Lake-Gaskin’s cross straight at the keeper.
Rugby started the second half on top again, with half chances for Lake-Gaskin and Kolodynski going begging early on.
Cunniff stretched Power-Simpson with another low effort, Richard Wesley had a shot blocked and then, after a rare error of judgement by the Saints’ keeper, Kolodynski played in Lake-Gaskin – but he was subsequently crowded out in the box.
Power-Simpson pulled out another fine save from Lake-Gaskin, before a frustrated Valley seemed to run out of steam and ideas as the game drew to a close.
The late introduction of Lewis McBride could have provided that much needed impetus, but cruelly his return to action lasted only a few minutes – after he injured his shoulder landing awkwardly across the byline – forcing him to watch the remainder of the game from there waiting for the ambulance to arrive.
Having failed to register a single strike on target throughout the game, Chalfont then nearly snatched it at the death, when Alex Paine’s volleyed cross from the right picked out Scott Fitzgerald – but he could only help the ball wide of the target.