TOWN manager Carl Adams says the second-half performance by his side in the 3-1 defeat to Quorn was completely out of character – as Rugby’s unbeaten home run came to an end.
Prior to the weekend’s fixture, Rugby had racked up six successive victories at Butlin Road and looked to be on course to extend that run when Danico Johnson fired a 13th-minute opener.
But a leveller three minutes into the second half by substitute Leo Marshall, followed by a brace from Stephen Hart, gave Quorn a 12th win of the season to go level on points with second-placed Town in the United Counties League Premier Division.
Adams was not one to mince his words reflecting on a sixth defeat of the campaign, admitting: “I didn’t see that second-half performance coming to be honest, especially after the way we have played of late and especially in the opening 45 minutes.
“We really should have taken advantage of being on top and scored a second. but credit to Quorn they were clinical and made us pay.
“We now need to pick ourselves up and go again, and hopefully learn lessons from what happened out there.”
Title rivals Shepshed Dynamo resumed their position on top of the table after beating Harborough Town away from home 2-0 – a disappointing outcome considering how well the afternoon had started for Valley.
Johnson’s early strike, a low shot placed into the bottom corner of Max Culverwell’s net, was much deserved after a positive start from the hosts.
Further chances followed, as Culverwell was forced into getting down low to tip wide from Dylan Parker’s attempt, before the Rugby forward set up Jamal Clarke for a diving header which narrowly cleared the crossbar.
The visitors began to make inroads into a comeback when Micah Jebbison directed a downward header on target, one which Town custodian Matt Hill was equal to.
But with the next opportunity that followed, Quorn were level as Marshall stole possession from defender Keenah Rosser before nudging the ball over the onrushing Hill.
After a period where both sides were unable to force a clear opening, a goalbound drive from Rosser was pushed onto the woodwork by Culverwell to ensure parity remained.
The crucial save allowed Quorn to go in front with their next attempt when Hart powered home a header from Rackeem Reid’s centre with 22 minutes remaining.
Hart struck again when tucking home a rebound from Micah Jebbison’s attempt ten minutes, putting the away side firmly out of sight.
Rugby were denied an immediate chance to bounce back after Tuesday night’s fixture at Rothwell Corinthians was called off, so will instead wait eagerly to take on Cogenhoe United away from home on Saturday (3pm).
Cogenhoe, who are currently 17th, will be buoyed by their recent 4-4 draw with Wellingborough Town going into the encounter.
In the high-scoring stalemate in Northamptonshire, the travelling Cooks found themselves 3-0 down before scoring four without reply, only to concede a last-gasp equaliser.
Both Lee Thomas and James Hancocks are set to be available for selection this weekend, after returning from injury to make the bench for the Quorn defeat.