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2016/17 Season
Rugby Town

Rugby Town
L Rowley 12'

Rugby Town

Kidsgrove Athletic
Pickerill 52'
Malbon 79', 80'

Saturday 22nd April 2017
Northern Premier League First Division South
Butlin Road, Rugby
Attendance 251
Valley Star Man

Valley ultimately exited the NPL with a bit of a whimper, after their miserable 2016/17 campaign concluded with another home defeat.

Rugby's result proved to be academic in the end though, as their nearest rivals for relegation Loughborough coasted to victory in their match against Market Drayton thirty-odd miles up the road.

With attention split between Butlin Road and Dynamo's Nanpantan Sports Ground, Town named an unchanged starting line-up for their crucial clash last Saturday, but they were nearly behind within the opening few minutes when Lee Pickerill jinked his way along the by-line before Louis Connor just gathered his shot across the face of the goal.

It was the hosts that took a tenth minute lead though, when Levi Rowley finished off Trey Brathwaite's swinging centre into the box.

A long range effort by Robbie Parsons was easily gathered by Athletic keeper Chris Martin, whilst Connor denied Mark Grocott at the other end, before the day's next significant moment saw Market Drayton break the deadlock at Loughborough.

The home side there had made a nervy start of their own and after a series of decent chances, Daniel Beddows headed mid-table Drayton into the lead on 29 minutes.

The visitors' lead was short-lived though, with Dynamo's Karl Demidh levelling things up from the spot just two minutes later.

Despite this equaliser, Rugby still held the advantage at this point and Chris Sterling nearly extended the lead when he steered a shot just past the post after Parsons had laid the ball back to him.

Town were riding their luck a little too, with Grocott curling one against the bar and Connor saving Leon Ashman's header low down ahead of a half-time whistle which signalled an air of semi-confidence around the ground.

Perhaps buoyed by the relatively good news from elsewhere, Valley made a bright start to the new period and David Kolodynski's early chance was saved by Martin, whilst Ryan Quinn also pulled one just wide.

However the unwanted turnaround of fortunes was achieved on 51 minutes when Loughborough went ahead after Danny Durkin's cross deflected into the top corner, and this was compounded by a Kidsgrove leveller when Town failed to clear their lines properly and Pickerill speared one home from twenty yards.

Mitchell Thomson's low shot was saved by Martin after the midfielder had played a neat one-two with Kolodynski, and Kolodynski himself then had a shot stopped from point blank range - with both efforts coming around the time of Loughborough's third just past the hour mark, as Demidh scored from a free-kick.

Word of Dynamo's two goal lead seemingly spread onto the Butlin Road pitch and Town's performance visibly flattened for the final half an hour.

A quickfire double from Kidsgrove's Ant Malbon added further salt to Rugby's wounds, when he first followed up on Connor's parry to Harry Clayton's strike to help the rebound home and then he trundled in behind Valley's defence to lift the ball over the keeper to make it three for the visitors.

Meanwhile another Demidh penalty on 89 minutes rounded off his hat-trick, Dynamo's win and with it their impressive escape from the drop at Town's expense.

Valley Line-up: Connor; Print, Brathwaite (Punter), M Rowley, K Rowley; Quinn (Faulkner), Thomson; Parsons (Shakespeare), Sterling, L Rowley; Kolodynski. Subs not used: Charles, Bolton. Booked: Thomson.

Valley Line-up - Rugby Town 1-3 Kidsgrove Athletic - April 2017
Photos: Martin Pulley
David Kolodynski - Rugby Town 1-2 Gresley - April 2017
Things were looking promising at half time with Valley leading and Loughborough being held but it had all turned around within ten minutes of the second half

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