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2021/22 SEASON - MATCH REPORT - UNITED COUNTIES LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION SOUTH - 23 APRIL 2022
Rugby Town

Potton United
Parkinson 8
Butler sin-binned 85'

1
Rugby Town

Rugby Town
Recci 90'+1
Thomas 90'+3

2
x - Potton United 1-2 Rugby Town - April 2022
Justin Marsden holds off his man in a first half where the hosts were on top but failed to take their chances
 

Saturday 23 April 2022

United Counties League Premier Division South
The Hollow, Potton
Attendance 137
Valley Star Man
JAMES HANCOCKS
by JON VENNER

Rugby Town scored two stoppage time goals to turn defeat into victory in the final game of the season at Potton United.

The hosts had taken an early lead and went to onto hold onto this for the majority of the game, until goals at the death from skipper Loyiso Recci and Josh Thomas came after the sinbinning of Cole Butler had forced Potton to play out the final minutes a man light.

The inclusion of Thomas in place of Liam Francis was the only change to Valley's line-up from the one that had started at Easington five days earlier, but it was United that made by far the brighter start.

Their burly striker Dave Parkinson was the main source of threat, and he had an early header cleared from the goal-line by Dan Summerfield, before putting a further opportunity into the side netting.

It was therefore no surprise when Parkinson opened the scoring on nine minutes, when he showed a good first touch and then gave Ash Bodycote little chance with his well-struck shot.

James Smith could have easily doubled the home side's advantage, but he somehow failed to make a connection to Lil Francisco's drilled cross from the right, as Rugby continued their sluggish opening.

Recci did have one strike deflected across to Madundo Semahimbo, whose follow-up effort was also blocked away, but generally it was Potton that were making the more positive impression on proceedings.

Parkinson dragged one wide on the counter attack, before Town finally tested home keeper Sam Irish when Justin Marsden's angled shot was capably dealt with.

The hosts ended the half in the ascendancy again though, with Parkinson shooting straight at Bodycote and the visiting keeper than doing well to tip away Sam Willis's low strike just ahead of the interval.

With their wind in their favour now, Rugby looked a more formidable proposition after the restart.

A couple of crosses were flashed across the face of the Potton defence in the early exchanges of the new period, whilst Marsden also missed out on a half chance from the edge of the penalty area.

At the other end, Bodycote tipped a Callum Wilson free-kick around the post, but Town continued to improve further, with James Hancocks seeing his dangerous corner helped marginally over the bar by a Potton head and Marsden smashing a further effort off-target.

Valley sub Adam Shaw then lifted the ball over the target from a good position, with Recci also guilty of wasting a decent opportunity when he put his header to another Hancocks' set-piece wide of the frame.

David Kolodynski's speculative strike from twenty yards also flew over, before the game's pivotal moment saw the home side reduced to ten men on 85 minutes when their substitute Butler was punished for dissent.

Recci grabbed the equaliser in his 100th league start for the club with a powerful header to a Hancocks' cross in the first minute of stoppage time, and then another Hancocks delivery into the box was turned in by Thomas two minutes later to secure Rugby's final day success.

Valley Line-up: Bodycote; Summerfield, Thomas, Recci, Clarke; Fitzharris, Hancocks; Marsden, Semahimbo (Shaw), Elliott; Kolodynski. Subs not used: Francis, Lock, English. Booked: None

Potton line-up: Irish, Francisco, Howard-Dobson, Carey-Morrell, Lewis, Smith, Thomas, Willis, Parkinson, Moriarty, Andrews. Subs: Fitzpatrick, Amadi, Butler, Wilson, Ugarte-Edwards.

 
Valley Line-up - Potton United 1-2 Rugby Town - April 2022
Photos: Martin Pulley
Valley Fans - Potton United 1-2 Rugby Town - April 2022
Valley's away travelling faithful were rewarded with a dramatic end to the season which saw two stoppage time goals turn the game on its head

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