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Rugby Town

Rugby Town
Wilson 2', 49'
Ahenkorah 34'
Summerfield 77'
Seal 90'

Rugby Town

Lutterworth Town
Motshweni 32'
Sallami 55'

Dan Summerfield - Rugby Town 5-2 Lutterworth Town - December 2022
Dan Summerfield stooped to head in his third goal of the season to give Rugby some breathing space in the closing stages

Monday 26 December 2022

United Counties League Premier Division South
Butlin Road, Rugby
Attendance 437
Valley Star Man

It was a Boxing Day Bonanza at Butlin Road for the Valley faithful as Rugby Town claimed a seventh successive league win against Lutterworth.

Goals from Edwin Ahenkorah, Dan Summerfield, Ryan Seal and a Jordan Wilson brace ultimately saw the hosts home in front of a 437-strong crowd, although they did make hard work of it at times with the Swifts keeping themselves in the game with a strike of their own in each half.

Town boss Carl Adams kept the same starting eleven for the fourth match running, although there was an involvement in a UCL matchday squad for the first time for summer signing Ben Whitehead.

Once more Rugby raced out of the traps and took a 2nd-minute lead when Wilson ran onto Caine Elliott's delicately-delivered chipped pass to guide the ball through the legs of the oncoming Lutterworth keeper Warren Butlin.

The home side's promising start continued, with Summerfield heading a deep cross from David Kolodynski onto the roof of the net and then the Rugby wing-back went even closer after Wilson had picked him out with a sweeping low ball into the box, but Butlin was off his line quickly to block his effort with a strong-handed save.

Lutterworth began to look threatening on the counter though, with Matt Hill pulling off a decent stop to keep out Dylan Otshundy's shot, and then Pearson Mwanyongo steered Karabo Motshweni's cross into the side netting.

At the other end, Wilson dragged one wide of the target from a dangerous central position and Seal found the net with a free-kick from twenty yards, only to see the celebrations cut short when the officials spotted an infringement against the defensive wall by Valley's Liam Francis.

Hanibal Sallami stabbed the ball wide under pressure at the back post, but the visitors were finally gifted a reward for their endeavours on 33 minutes when Hill totally misjudged the flight of Motshweni's corner in the low, dazzling sun and let it drift over his head directly across the line for the equaliser.

Town's response was instantaneous though, as pretty much straight from the restart the ball fell into the path of Ahenkorah to crisply fire home a wonder goal from thirty yards to restore Valley's advantage.

However Lutterworth continued to cause the hosts problems ahead of the interval, with their best chance seeing Josh Gunn strike one from distance straight at Hill.

Adams mixed things up for the new half, with Keenah Rosser and Barry Fitzharris both on from the beginning of it, and Rugby again made an ideal start to proceedings when Wilson applied an adept close-range finish to Kolodynski's cross on 49 minutes.

Motshweni tested Hill again with another set-piece delivery, but this time the Town keeper was equal to it in pushing the ball around the post, before Seal nearly extended Rugby's lead after good build-up play between Wilson and Kolodynski, but Seal's final goalbound effort was kept out by a defender's boot.

It became 3-2 however when Sallami ran through after Dion Potter's clever dummy, with the winger twisting and turning his man before firing home off the underside of the crossbar.

Rugby then had an appeal for a penalty turned away when Wilson was barged down in the box, with Elliott subsequently blocked out from the loose ball.

Elliott was soon denied again, when his close-range volley to Seal's cross bounced back off the upright onto the leg of Butlin and into his arms, with Kolodynski just unable to take advantage of the confusion.

Kolodynski's request for a penalty was also turned down shortly after, as Town looked to put the game safe, with both Seal and Elliott then missing out on a double chance.

Valley's fourth finally came on 77 minutes when Seal's deep cross was met perfectly by the head of Summerfield, who guided it down into the bottom corner despite the best efforts of Gunn to keep it out.

Ahenkorah's well-timed recovery tackle on Potter preserved Rugby's two-goal advantage, with the home side then ending the game with a flurry - creating a number of scoring opportunities in the process.

Seal and Town sub Madundo Semahimbo both went close to converting Elliott's cross, Elliott himself volleyed Seal's corner to the edge of the penalty area and then Butlin was again off his line well to push away Wilson's attempt at a hat-trick strike, after Loyiso Recci had burst forward to set him up.

Shortly after Butlin pulled off an even better double save to deny both Ahenkorah and Wilson's follow-up, but the ball was recycled back to Semahimbo who floated it back into the box where Seal showed neat feet before prodding home from a couple of yards to secure Town their second successive five-goal return.

Valley Line-up: Hill; Thomas, Francis (Rosser), Recci; Summerfield (Whitehead), Ahenkorah, Lock (Fitzharris), Elliott, Seal; Wilson, Kolodynski (Semahimbo). Subs not used: English. Booked: Lock, Wilson.

Lutterworth line-up: Butlin, Gunn, Hodkinson, Sanches, Law, Steer, Mwanyongo, Motshweni, Otshundy, Potter, Sallami. Subs: Osbourne, Small, Parish, Dugbo, Thomas.

Valley Line-up - Rugby Town 5-2 Lutterworth Town - December 2022
Photos: Martin Pulley
Jordan Wilson - Rugby Town 5-2 Lutterworth Town - December 2022
Striker Jordan Wilson celebrates his first of two goals against his former club Lutterworth Town

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