RUGBY Town were made to settle for a point after letting victory slip at the death away at Uxbridge in the Southern League – Central Division.
The points were shared after a topsy-turvy, yet pulsating 3-3 draw at the Honeycroft Stadium on Saturday, although Valley will feel aggrieved with the outcome after having had by far the best of the game.
Having twice fallen behind against the run of play, the visitors showed good spirit and looked set for third consecutive away league win until Chris Moore completed a hat-trick in the fourth minute of stoppage time.
Valley started brightly and created a host of half chances but Lewis McBride twice sent efforts just wide and Ben George curled his shot the wrong side of the target.
Uxbridge’s physical approach in the early exchanges could have easily earned them a red card or two, with one such challenge on Richard Blythe seeing the midfielder limp out of the game after just 20 minutes.
Lewis Ranking’s rising shot whistled just over the bar before the hosts went 1-0 in front somewhat against the run of play with their first real attack when Moore followed up after Jo Bate’s shot was initially saved by Richard Morris.
Further opportunities fell to Justin Marsden, George and Robbie Burns ahead of the half-time whistle, the last of which a well-struck first-time effort from 25 yards which flew just wide of the top corner.
The visitors again started the second period on top and they deservedly pulled level seven minutes after the re-start.
Home goalkeeper Rourke Pickford somehow let Rankin’s weak shot creep under him after George had cut the ball back to him.
Will Grocott fired his volley over and Rankin struck the inside of the post, before Uxbridge once more took the lead with a goal from nothing when Moore forced in a looping cross from Craig Tompkins.
Despite this second setback Valley showed great character to get themselves back into the lead and two quick-fire goals in three minutes gave them the lead for the first time in the match.
First Marsden grabbed a 69th minute equaliser when he followed-up on Burns’s low strike, and then Marsden turned provider for Burns to curl one into the top corner via the underside of the bar.
It looked as thought Valley were set to claim all three points heading into injury-time but Moore popped up with a last-gasp equaliser be heading home another deep Tompkins cross.
Justin Marsden scored Rugby Town’s second goal. (s) Photo by Martin Pulley