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Rugby Town

Coventry Sphinx
Stewart 11' pen

Rugby Town

Rugby Town
L Recci 40' pen
Clarke 60'
Kolodynski 70'

Jamal Clarke - Coventry Sphinx x Rugby Town - January 2022
Jamal Clarke (centre) heads Rugby into the lead during the second half at Coventry Sphinx as team-mate David Kolodynski (left) also challenges for the ball

Monday 3 January 2022

United Counties League Premier Division South
Sphinx Drive, Coventry
Attendance 275
Valley Star Man

Valley put in a dominant display to see in the New Year with a Bank Holiday victory at Coventry Sphinx.

Carl Adams's side came from behind to make it eight league victories on the bounce thanks to goals from central defenders Loyiso Recci and Jamal Clarke plus a 21st of the season for David Kolodynski.

Adams made two changes from the starting eleven that saw off Easington just after Christmas, with Max Johnson back in after suspension and Adam Shaw getting the nod up-front.

Rugby made a promising start to the game, and Barry Fitzharris fizzed in a shot from twenty yards -only to be denied by the fingertips of Coventry keeper Tom Cross.

Town struck the post twice from the resulting corner, with first Kolodynski glancing the set piece onto the upright before Shaw also struck the woodwork with his rebound effort.

A rising strike from Lewis Chester then hurried Ash Bodycote into a decent save at the other end, as the hosts demonstrated they were going to be no pushover on their sloping, sticky surface.

It was indeed the home side that took a ninth minute lead from the penalty spot, with ex-Town Academy man Callum Stewart scoring from twelve yards after James Hancocks had handled in the box.

Shaw put one way over the bar from distance as Valley looked for a quick response, before Sphinx had their most threatening spell of the game - which saw Stewart fire wide after he had been gifted a clean run on goal and both Chester and Harvey Smith also missing the target with their respective efforts.

The visitors were soon back in control though, and Max Johnson's first time effort cleared the bar and a further Kolodynski header was this time gathered by Cross.

The scores were levelled in the approach to the interval though, after Danico Johnson's heels were clipped as he jinked his way into the penalty area, and Town skipper Recci stroked home from the spot for the second time this season.

Kolodynski's typically audacious volleyed attempt at the far post then almost sneaked in seconds before the half-time whistle was blown.

Town went on to dominate after the restart, with Max Johnson having their first real chance of the new period when his rasping shot was saved well by Cross.

Kolodynski met another near post corner from Max Johnson, only to see his header drift across the face of the goal, but there was joy from a set-piece on the hour mark for Valley when another corner was only half-cleared to Danico Johnson - who expertly picked out the head of Clarke to nod the ball down into the bottom corner.

Shaw slashed one wide from a dangerous position after Kolodynski had set him up, and then the roles were reversed with Shaw turning provider for his team-mate to swivel and force the ball home at the second attempt for Rugby's third.

Kolodynski's volley was blocked as he looked to add to his tally, with substitute Dylan Parker also going close before the end of the game after he had shown good pace to get in behind the Coventry defence.

Valley Line-up: Bodycote; Summerfield, Hancocks, Loyiso Recci, Clarke; Fitzharris, Elliott, Max Johnson (Marsden); Shaw (Ahenkorah), Danico Johnson, Kolodynski (Parker). Subs not used: Semahimbo, Rosser. Booked: Elliott.

Coventry line-up: Cross, J.Downes, Rawlings, Billing, Draper, Dryson, Chester, Noon, Smith, Stewart, L.Downes. Subs: Adams, Guest, Hallett, Kennedy, Stone.

Valley Line-up - Coventry Sphinx 1-3 Rugby Town - January 2022
Photos: Martin Pulley
Loyiso Recci - Coventry Sphinx 1-3 Rugby Town - January 2022
Captain Loyiso Recci scored his second penalty of the season to get Rugby level during the first half

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