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Rugby Town

GNG Oadby Town
Francis 40'
Bruce 68'
Muteera 69'
Boulter 82'

Rugby Town

Rugby Town
Elliott 18' (p)
English 43'
Wilson 45'
Fielding 72'

Luke English - GNG Oadby Town 4-4 Rugby Town - March 2023
Luke English put Rugby ahead again just before half time but Oadby managed to pull it back three times

Saturday 18 March 2023

United Counties League Premier Division South
Riverside Football Ground, Leicester
Attendance 75
Valley Star Man

Rugby Town were held to a draw at GNG Oadby Town after being pegged back three times at a soaking Riverside Football Ground.

A torrential downpour saw more than half of the game played out on top of an significant amount of surface water and this undoubtedly helped contribute to the eight goal outcome, as Valley were held to a second successive draw.

Keenah Rosser returned to the heart of the Town defence in place of Josh Thomas, with Tom Fielding back in the matchday squad on the subs' bench.

Rugby started brightly enough, with Liam Francis volleying over after the ball had fallen to him from a corner.

Matt Hill easily gathered a Rian Patel strike at the other end, before another Francis header was turned round the post by Hill's counterpart Matt Richmond.

Edwin Ahenkorah then blazed one wide of the frame, before Town were awarded their 14th penalty of the season so far when David Kolodynski was bundled over in the box by Mandeep Bains.

On the back of six previous misses by team-mates from the spot, Caine Elliott assumed duties for the first time and after a long delay, he stepped up and buried the ball into the bottom left hand corner.

Rugby nearly added a second shortly after, when Luke English fired a ball across the skiddy goalmouth, but his delivery was agonisingly between Kolodynski and Jordan Wilson, and was deflected away instead. Patel just could not stretch to reach a cross from ex-Valley man Lamar Parkes, with Kolodynski another to slide a dangerous delivery across the face of the goal, as the heavy downpour started to impact on the proceedings.

English nodded one well wide and then Kolodynski broke through the home defence, only to see his angled shot kept out by Richmond.

Oadby continued to offer an occasional threat, but their chances were mainly limited to long range, speculative efforts, with Suleiman Nassor and Jay Bruce both putting in unsuccessful shots.

However the hosts were then gifted their first equaliser of the afternoon on 40 minutes, when Hill spilled a regulation catch to a corner and Tyrel Francis ultimately took advantage of this by bundling the ball over the line.

There was still time for Rugby to take a two-goal advantage into the interval though, with English helping one home from close range after Francis's initial header had been saved and then Wilson was on the end of a Kolodynski centre to make it 3-1.

It was another decent start to the half by Town on their return, and Wilson could have easily extended their lead further when his connection to another Kolodynski pass was kept out by Richmond.

A weak shot from Kolodynski after he had cut in from the left hand side was easily stopped, before Town were denied a fourth when Elliott's successful strike from the edge of the area was chalked off for a debatable offside decision.

Oadby then embarked upon their best spell of the game, with Hill tipping over Zak Bham's effort and Bruce heading a further opportunity wide.

For Valley, Wilson also headed one off-target, but Parkes's shot straight at Hill was another warning for the visitors, before they finally made their pressure pay when Bruce sweetly struck one low past Hill from twenty yards on 68 minutes.

Oadby were level again just a minute later, when sub Lotredge Muteera got the better of Francis to run on and fire into the roof of the net, but Rugby were soon back ahead again though, with Fielding scoring with his first involvement of the game not long after he ran onto Elliott's header.

Elliott then stabbed one wide, whilst another Town sub Ben Whitehead denied Nassor with a block tackle.

It was all-square again with nine minutes of normal time remaining, when Blake Boulter met Patel's free-kick to head home to set up an intriguing conclusion to the soggy affair.

Rugby had the bulk of the play for the remainder of the game, but failed to carve out a clear goalscoring opportunity in the process.

It was in fact the home side that really should have secured an improbable victory for themselves, when four of their players broke free of the Valley back-line on the counter, but somehow they made a mess of the situation and Whitehead got back to put in a great point-saving tackle on Muteera in the end.

Valley Line-up: Hill; Rosser, Francis (Whitehead), Recci; English, Ahenkorah, Fitzharris, Elliott, Seal (Thomas (Kear)); Wilson (Fielding), Kolodynski (Semahimbo). Subs not used: None. Booked: Thomas.

Oadby line-up: Richmond, Francis, Husain, Gill, Bains, Aiten, Patel, Thandi, Nassor, Bruce, Parkes. Subs: Boulter, Bham, Muteera, Powell.

Valley Line-up - GNG Oadby Town 4-4 Rugby Town - March 2023
Photos: Martin Pulley
Caine Elliott - GNG Oadby Town 4-4 Rugby Town - March 2023
Caine Elliott put Valley ahead from the penalty spot in the soaking conditions in Oadby

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