WINNING RUN ENDS IN MUDDY DE-FLEET
Rugby's eleven game winning streak came to an unexpected end when they fell to defeat to struggling Fleet on a boggy Calthorpe Park.
||Valley winger Fazel Koriya opened the scoring with a sensational strike but Rugby saw their early lead overhauled by a dogged Fleet side
With the pitch having survived a morning inspection after overnight rain, the rain continued throughout the game – creating conditions that certainly did not help Valley’s normal free-flowing football.
Manager Dave Stringer had been forced into a late rejig of his starting line-up, after travel issues saw skipper Mason Rowley miss the start of the game - with Lewis McBride slotting into an unfamiliar full-back role and Andrew Spencer given a start in midfield.
Despite this, Town still got off to the perfect start when Fazel Koriya escaped the attentions of the home defence before unleashing a cracking twenty yard shot to leave keeper Ryan Pryce completely helpless.
Before this goal, Sam Belcher’s free-kick had already struck the bar after just three minutes.
Rugby were trying their best to play some nice football on the quagmire of a pitch, but they received a shock after half an hour when they conceded their first goal in more than twelve hours.
Ben White managed to get a decent cross over from the left, with Patrick Cox adding a glancing header to leave Dave Bevan with the rare task of picking the ball out of the net.
Rugby tried immediately to get back into the lead, with Kolodynski testing Pryce on a couple of occasions in the run-up to the interval.
With the pitch becoming increasingly muddier, the hosts went ahead in the 57th minute when player-manager Craig Davis’s free-kick was well-placed over the defensive wall and into the top corner, after Alex Gudger had been penalised for an off-the-ball incident near the penalty area.
With Town desperate to salvage at least a point, it was pretty much one-way traffic for the rest of the game, however the visitors did not test Pryce as much as they would have hoped.
Their best chances saw a Belcher shot flash just wide and Gudger heading a Belcher cross over the bar, with Seb Lake-Gaskin and Koriya also putting in off-target efforts.
Line-up: Bevan; McBride, Myles, Austin (Blythe),
Gudger; Koriya, Spencer (Rowley), Belcher, Youngs; Lake-Gaskin,
Kolodynski. Subs not used: Palmer, Williams, Maisiri. Booked: Belcher, Gudger.
Fleet line-up: Pryce, Moore, Hutchings, Scott, Miller, Davis, Vockins, White, Cox, Byres, Davies.