RUGBY TOWN: Friendly campaign ends on high note

Sam Youngs
Sam Youngs
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Valley beat Bedworth 2-1

Sam Belcher’s late spot-kick meant Town rounded off their pre-season campaign victoriously, after another encouraging performance from Dave Stringer’s men at the Oval.

Rugby had to come from behind though, after Aden Moore had given the hosts the advantage with a 33rd minute strike against the run of play – bundling home Ben Ashby’s ball across the box after Valley had been caught short-handed at the back.

Before that opener, David Kolodynski and Lewis McBride had had early chances for a confident-looking Town, and Sam Youngs had spurned two particularly good opportunities – first denied by Andrew Kemp’s legs and then screwing one wide of the target.

Ex-Rugby man Ben Steane drew a good save from Niall Cooper and Callum Burgess’s header struck the bar in two rare attacking highlights from United ahead of Moore’s goal.

The first half ended with Town’s best chance, when both Seb Lake-Gaskin and McBride made a hash of Kolodynski’s pull-back from the left.

Valley were level soon after the restart though thanks to McBride’s neat finish, after Youngs’ initial effort was parried by Kemp.

Ellis Myles was then penalised for fouling Josh O’Grady in the box, but Cooper was down well to the penalty to deny Moore his second.

The introduction of a number of substitutes saw the game become more fragmented after this, although one of them – trialist Sheldon Dodd – almost scored with his first touch after chasing down a long ball.

Rugby’s efforts were rewarded though with five minutes remaining, when McBride was also felled in the penalty area, and Belcher beat Kemp with his strike from twelve yards.