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Rugby Town

Rugby Town
Johnson 4'
Rankin 27'
Blythe 76'
Koriya (p) 90'+1

Rugby Town

Sleaford Town

Richard Blythe - Rugby Town 4-0 Sleaford Town - November 2018
Richard Blythe's fifth goal of the season late on effectively sealed the three points

Saturday 10 November 2018

United Counties League Premier Division
Butlin Road, Rugby
Attendance 184
Valley Star Man

Valley cruised to another comfortable Butlin Road victory this time against mid-table Sleaford Town.

For a fifth time in just six league outings, Town once more scored four times with Danico Johnson, Lewis Rankin, Richard Blythe and the returning Fazel Koriya on target against the Lincolnshire visitors.

There was a first UCL start for Town academy captain Josh Steele at full-back, with Lewis Hayden recalled to the midfield, whilst Koriya kicked-off his third spell at the club on the bench.

The hosts were ahead after just four minutes, when Stefan Blake's defence splitting pass picked out Johnson on the edge of the area, and the striker duly fired home into the bottom right hand corner in typical fashion.

Blythe was then tackled just as he was about to shoot from a similar position and Liam Francis headed a Charlie Evans' cross, as Town pushed on for a second goal.

That came on 27 minutes when Rankin cut in from the right flank to play a neat one-two with Johnson, before sending the ball past Sleaford keeper Chris Adams.

Opportunities continued to come Rugby's way, with Adams doing well to keep out Rankin's first time volleyed strike after Johnson had shown good strength to gain possession on the byline.

Adams was again in fine form to keep out a low curling effort from Blake, with Francis having a further header - this time to Rankin corner - blocked on the line.

Sleaford's only real chance of the opening period came as it drew to a close, when Brad Hockin whipped a dangerous cross across the face of the Town goal.

The visitors managed the first shot of the new half too, but Harry Millard's effort was easily gathered by Matt Hill.

Rankin and Blythe then squandered decent opportunities, with Rankin spooning one way over the bar and Blythe having a shot blocked after he had originally surged his way past a number of defenders and into the box.

Once David Hone had put a free-kick from distance onto the roof of the Valley net, the hosts took control of proceedings again.

Evans just failed to finish off Steele's squared low cross and another forceful run by Blythe ended with him lifting his shot over both Adams and the frame.

Rugby finally made it three when Hayden started a move which also saw a Steele cross and Evans shot tipped onto the woodwork, before Blythe tapped in from close range.

Koriya missed a glorious opportunity when he somehow headed wide of an open goal, whilst at the other end Sleaford almost reduced the arrears when Ben Greenwood slid onto a deep cross to lift the ball over.

Valley's fourth in added time came from the spot - courtesy of Koriya, after Hayden had been taken out by Millard, with a late chance of a consolation for the visitors going begging when Harry Holloway blocked a goalbound effort by Greenwood.

Valley Line-up: Hill; Rosser, Steele, Recci, Francis; Blythe, Hayden, Blake (Tulloch); Rankin (Holloway), Evans, Johnson (Koriya). Subs not used: Perkins, Kavanagh. Booked: Hayden.

Sleaford line-up: Adams, Moyses, Hayden, Worthington, Hone, Greenwood, Machin, Smith, Millard, Couzens, Coupland. Subs: Warman, Tunstall, Shaw, Start, Hockin.



Valley Line-up - Rugby Town 4-0 Sleaford Town - November 2018
Photos: Martin Pulley
Fazel Koriya - Rugby Town 4-0 Sleaford Town - November 2018
Returning forward Fazel Koriya marked the start of his third spell with the club with a goal from the penalty spot

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