Town keep up title pressure

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Evo-Stik League Southern – Central Division

Rugby Town 3

Beaconsfield SYCOB 0

Town kept the pressure on league leaders Burnham putting in a purposeful performance to record yet another Butlin Road victory on Tuesday evening.

The three goal success over play-off chasing Beaconsfield represented Valley’s 11th consecutive home win and their eighth on the trot overall, and they also extended their run of clean sheets to five matches in the process.

Lewis McBride had given Rugby an early lead, but the visitors then fought back well and threatened a number of times. However after Fazel Koriya’s 55th minute strike, the result never really looked in doubt, with Sam Youngs rounding off the victory with his 10th goal of the season.

An army of volunteers had worked hard earlier in the day to help ensure the game went ahead after the snow had seen the scheduled home fixture with Slough called off at the weekend, and their efforts were soon rewarded when McBride ran on to an excellent flick by the returning Seb Lake-Gaskin to fire home past SYCOB keeper Rhys Marshall.

However Anthony Page’s header straight at Dave Bevan not long after demonstrated that the Buckinghamshire side were going to prove no push-over, with Yashna Romeo also testing Bevan with his low strike.

For Town, Ellis Myles’s deflected shot and a Mason Rowley header that was blocked on the line almost added to the lead ahead of the interval, although Romeo went close again with a shot at the back-post.

Shortly after the restart, Bevan was well-placed to scoop up Ryan Blake’s effort following a rare moment of defensive hesitancy from Town.

Lake-Gaskin was again the provider for Rugby’s second, which saw Koriya display quick feet before smashing the ball into the roof of the net from just inside the box.

Marshall then smothered a Youngs chance at close range and David Kolodynski’s first time volley whistled just past the post, as Valley assumed control of the game once more.

Town’s third came on 82 minutes when Youngs’s effort from twenty yards beat Marshall – probably via the foot of McBride, although it was former who appeared to claim it.

The win leaves Rugby level on points with Burnham – once Town’s recent victory at Royston is officially added to their tally.

With just a single goal separating the two sides, the re-arranged game between them on Tuesday 16th April could prove crucial in deciding Dave Stringer’s side’s final position this season.

Rugby line-up & ratings: Bevan 7, Austin 6, Myles 6 (Maisiri), Rowley 8, Gudger 7, Youngs 6, McBride 7, Belcher 8, Kolodynski 6, Lake-Gaskin 7 (Spencer 6), Koriya 6. Subs not used: Palmer, Williams, French, Booked: Myles

Goals: McBride 8, Koriya 55, Youngs 82

Beaconsfield line-up: Marshall, A.James, Carby, Page, Yeboah, Ajanjekoko, Couch, Poulton, Romeo, Blake, G.James Subs: Barney, Upward, Gill, Walters, Jones

Attendance: 134

Rugby Star Man: Sam Belcher