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2019/20 SEASON - MATCH REPORT - FA CUP EXTRA PRELIMINARY ROUND - 10 AUGUST 2019
Rugby Town

Sporting Khalsa
McKenzie 10', 90'
West 23'
Williams 68', 74'


5
Rugby Town

Rugby Town
Evans 29'
Alexander 32'
Fitzgerald 42', 58'

4
Sporting Khalsa 5-4 Rugby Town - FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round - August 2019
Valley exited the FA Cup in the Extra Preliminary Round for the first time
 

Saturday 10 August 2019

FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round
The Aspray Arena, Willenhall
Attendance 106
Valley Star Man
CHARLIE EVANS
by JON VENNER

Rugby Town were agonisingly beaten with a last-minute goal after a pulsating FA Cup tie at Sporting Khalsa.

Valley's fortunes had ebbed and flowed on a windy afternoon in the Black Country, with Josh McKenzie's late winner denying them a place in the next round against Belper Town.

An unchanged Rugby started sluggishly and keeper Matt Hill was soon blocking a decent shot from McKenzie, with Gaz Singh sending the rebound just wide.

After just eight minutes, the hosts took the lead though when McKenzie nodded in from close range after Tes Robinson had headed the ball across the face of Hill's goal.

Khalsa doubled their advantage when Singh fed the unmarked Dan Westwood, who fired home from twelve yards.

The visitors got themselves back in the game on 29 minutes though, after Charlie Evans ran onto Kieran Fitzgerald's through ball to skip round home keeper Sam Arnold and then squeeze the ball over the line from a tight angle.

It was level shortly after, when Ryan Seal's corner was met by the head of Town skipper Loyiso Recci and his on-target effort was parried by Arnold - only to fall into the path of Rico Alexander to head home.

The home side were visibly rocked by this quickfire response, and Valley continued to threaten and get in behind an increasingly open Khalsa back-line.

The first half turnaround was completed after Arnold had charged out to block Evans's effort, only to see Fitzgerald expertly clip the loose ball back over his head from more thirty yards.

Recci also glanced a header just wide in the lead-up to the interval, and Town took up where they had left off after the restart - looking to exploit the gaps in the home defence.

Seal hit the crossbar after Justin Marsden had set him up, but the fourth was soon to come after a well-worked move involving both Seal and Marsden was ended with a composed finish from Fitzgerald.

However Khalsa responded well to falling further behind, with Hill down well to deny Kieron Whittaker, although Valley then nearly put the game out of their reach when Evans, Caine Elliott and Fitzgerald all went close in the same attacking phase.

However a triple substitution from the hosts on 67 minutes proved to be inspirational for them, with one of the replacements Sean Williams grabbing a goal with his first touch after an inswinging set-piece had picked him out.

Last season's MFL player of the year Williams then struck again with the equaliser when he blasted one past Hill from close range after Town had failed to deal with a long throw into the box.

Sporting ended the game the stronger, with Hill again pulling off a fine low stop to keep out James McGrady's low shot, before McKenzie struck at the death to round off the impressive comeback when he finished off McGrady's pass after Rugby sub Eli Bako had sloppily given away possession.

Valley Line-up: Hill; L Recci, Kavanagh (Thomas), Clarke, Alexander; Elliott, White, Seal (O Recci (Bako)); Fitzgerald, Evans, Marsden. Subs not used: Lockley, Francis, Padmore. Booked: O Recci.

Khalsa line-up: Arnold, Franco, Worsey, Miles, Robinson, Perry (Woodhouse), Whittaker, Armstrong, McKenzie, Westwood (McGrady), Singh (Williams). Subs not used: Meese, Perks.

 
Valley Line-up - x - Sporting Khalsa 5-4 Rugby Town - FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round - August 2019
 

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