NO DISGRACE AS VALLEY BOW OUT OF CUP
Rugby exited the Red Insure Cup against Leamington at Butlin Road, although they did put in a creditable shift in defeat against their high flying Premier Division opponents.
Town rested first choice strike pairing David Kolodynski and Seb Lake-Gaskin from their starting line-up, with Ed Booth also replacing Mason Rowley at the heart of defence.
As had been the case two weeks previously when the tie was abandoned late on due to a floodlight failure, the visitors once more started the brighter outfit – with Alex Taylor, Liam Daly and Tom Berwick all having half chances in the opening quarter of an hour.
Berwick did open the scoring though after a Rugby attack broke down and the one-time Valley youth teamer found himself free down the middle of the home defence – before coolly slotting the ball past Dave Bevan.
Town responded positively to this setback however, with Booth’s speculative strike from distance, Robbie Banks’s shot and an acrobatic Alex Gudger effort all going wide of the target.
Leamington defender James Mace then executed a double block from both Craig Kelly and Ellis Myles, with keeper Niall Cooper repeating the feat just ahead of interval – pounding away Myles’s strike and Nik Evangelinos’s follow-up. The Brakes upped their game again at the start of the second half.
Substitute Joseph Magunda fired over not long after the restart, and then Rowley blocked Lee Chilton’s shot on the goal line.
Berwick grabbed his second on 54 minutes, when he capitalised on a mistake by Rowley, and again applied a composed finish past Bevan.
Sam Youngs should have reduced the arrears not long after, but he struck his effort straight at Cooper after neat work on the left from Fazel Koriya.
Koriya and Evangelinos had further chances, before Chilton somehow missed from close range at the other end.
The introduction of Kolodynski and Lake-Gaskin sparked the hosts once more, and the latter had one effort blocked and another drift just wide of the target.
With only a couple of minutes remaining, the ball broke nicely for Kolodynski and he scored the goal of the evening – curling his shot into the roof of the net to give his side some reward for their endeavour on the night.
Line-up: Bevan; Austin, Kelly, Booth,
Gudger (Lake-Gaskin); Myles, Banks (Rowley), Youngs, Palmer; Evangelinos (Kolodynski),
Koriya. Subs not used: Hall. Booked: None.
Leamington line-up:Cooper, Naylor, Morley, Owen, Daly, Mace, Taylor, Adkins, Berwick, Moore, Chilton. Subs: Magunda, Johnson, Husband, Dodd, Ward.