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Rugby Town

Harborough Town
Forbes 1'
Milne 42'
Gray 73'

Rugby Town

Rugby Town

X - Harborough Town x Rugby Town - April 2019
Midfielder Harry Holloway started his sixth game of the season for Valley

Saturday 27 April 2019

United Counties League Premier Division
Bowden Park, Market Harborough
Attendance 124
Valley Star Man

Rugby Town fell to a disappointing final day defeat at Harborough Town to bring the curtain down on another season.

The visitors never looked likely to bring down the curtain on the season with a victory from this dead rubber game, with Harborough coasting to a two goal half-time lead before adding a third in controversial circumstances after the break.

Keenah Rosser, Harry Holloway and Lewis Rankin were restored to the Valley opening line-up, as manager Carl Adams shuffled his pack once more, but Rugby made a disastrous start to the game - falling behind within the opening minute.

The quickfire strike came virtually from the kick-off, when Aaron Preston split open the Town defence to allow Daniel Forbes a clean run on goal, before he applied a composed side-footed finish past Matt Hill.

Rankin did then put in a rasping left footed curling effort which was punched away by home keeper Glen Giles, as both sides laboured in the extremely windy conditions.

Hill was down well to keep out a further effort from the scorer Forbes, with Hill also successfully dealing with Callum Milne's free-kick from the edge of the area after Liam Francis had brought down Forbes.

Charlie Evans's speculative strike from distance failed to trouble Giles and Edwin Ahenkorah's on-target shot was cleared away from the goalmouth, as Valley cobbled together what proved to be their most threatening spell of the entire encounter.

However these signs of promise were lost when the hosts grabbed another three minutes before the break, after some calamitous defending saw Forbes cut back the ball to present Milne with an unmissable opportunity from close range.

Town's second half display lacked conviction and penetration, and Harborough's third came on 73 minutes when Finlay Gray beat both Rosser and sub Daniel Kavanagh to an upfield clearance before slotting home.

The goal was awarded despite Rugby protests after the match referee failed to spot a substitution being executed by the away side - with the permission of his assistant - at the same time.

Callum Traynor and Gray both struck the woodwork late in the game for the home side, with the latter's effort appearing to have come back into play from inside of the goal frame - but this was also not spotted by the officials.

Valley Line-up: Hill; Rosser (Steele), Perkins, Thomas, Francis (Kavanagh); Marsden (Bako), Holloway, Tulloch; Rankin, Evans, Ahenkorah. Subs not used: Connor. Booked: Rankin, Francis.

Harborough line-up: Giles, Morris, Gray, Bartlett, Williams, Traynor, Steer, Milne, Forbes, Preston, Taylor. Subs: Bekavac, Knowles, May, Petranyuk, Watts.

Valley Lineup - Harborough Town 3-0 Rugby Town - April 2019
Photos: Martin Pulley
Matt Hill - Harborough Town 3-0 Rugby Town - April 2019
Valley goalkeeper Matt Hill could do little to stop the three Harborough goals

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