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Ahenkorah 90'+5 (p)

Rugby Town

Pinchbeck United
Maltby 45'

X - Rugby Town x Pinchbeck United - March 2019
Striker Edwin Ahenkorah kept his cool to equalise with a stoppage time penalty

Saturday 9 March 2019

United Counties League Premier Division
Butlin Road, Rugby
Attendance 215
Valley Star Man

Edwin Ahenkorah's stoppage time penalty salvaged a draw at Butlin Road against a well-drilled Pinchbeck United side.

Ahenkorah converted from the spot to deny the visitors the victory, after Town had failed to adapt as effectively to the windy conditions.

Rugby made one change to their starting line-up from the laboured 2-1 victory at strugglers Wellingborough Whitworth the previous weekend, with Dom Perkins restored to the centre of their midfield and Dan Summerfield moved back to a full-back berth in place of Josh Steele.

The hosts did come out the traps well though, immediately finding space out wide leading to Charlie Evans flashing in a cross - which Pinchbeck keeper Richard Lovelace did well to cut out.

Oliver Maltby nearly seized upon a wind assisted punt up to the other end of the pitch from the next phase of play, but Matt Hill was off his line quickly to deal with the danger.

United created the bulk of the pressure for the remainder of the half, and Charlie West was soon lifting one over after Rugby had been unable to clear their lines.

Lee Beeson also sent the ball over Hill's frame, whilst Valley's only other real foray of the opening period saw Ahenkorah's cross drift out of the reach of his team mates.

Maltby then helped a Beeson delivery wide at the near post, before the same Pinchbeck pair combined to break the deadlock on the stroke of half-time when Maltby showed clever movement to meet Beeson's in-swinging corner and clip it home with his head - despite the best efforts of both Hill and Keenah Rosser on the Rugby goal-line.

Hopes were high that with the wind now at their backs, Town could quickly get themselves back into the game, and to be fair they did start the new half with a little more conviction.

Evans smashed one over at the back post following a Lewis Rankin corner and Ahenkorah also put an effort off-target, before Lovelace was out well to deny Rankin after Perkins's centred ball, but generally Rugby struggled to create much of note to trouble the opposing defence.

Jordan Nuttell's strike flew over the bar in a rare chance for the visitors, but there were eighty minutes on the clock when Rugby finally had their first shot on target - with substitute Steele testing Lovelace from distance.

Pinchbeck's tactic of running down the clock with a series of stoppages backfired on them though, when deep into the subsequent added time their skipper Chris Shipley was adjudged to have pushed Liam Francis in the back just inside the box to give Ahenkorah the opportunity to send Lovelace the wrong way from the penalty spot.

The equaliser sparked a final flurry from the home side, with Rankin's strike deflected over for a corner after he had cut in from the right, although Nuttell almost grabbed a late winner for United when his looping header was cleared off the line by Rugby's debuting sub George Dawson.

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

Pinchbeck line-up: Lovelace, Wilson, Field, Shipley, Jackson, West, Beeson, Vince, Maltby, Beck, Cartwright. Subs: Ross, Edwards, Nuttell, Dunn, Adams.

Valley Lineup - Rugby Town 1-1 Pinchbeck United - March 2019
Photos: Martin Pulley
X - Rugby Town 1-1 Pinchbeck United - March 2019
Loyiso Recci and his backline had to deal with the tricky windy conditions throughout

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