RUGBY Town’s torrid away form in the Northern Premier League Division 1 South continued at Stocksbridge Park Steels after they conceded with practically the last kick of the game to lose 1-0.
It was a difficult result to take for new manager Dale Belford whoaw side deserved at least a draw after producing an encouraging performance despite being without striker David Kolodynski.
New signing Jake Healey made his debut alongside Spencer Smith in defence but it was the hosts who made the brighter star with Adam Hinchliffe seeing his speculative shot whistle over the bar inside the first minute.
However, Rugby quickly got into their stride when the pacy Callum Powell had a good run down the wing and produced a teasing cross but nobody could find the all-important touch in front of goal and just a minute later Mason Rowley saw his downward header at the backpost hit the side netting.
The game was certainly back and forth and Lee Garside nearly put the home side ahead when he struck the bar from a header after being completely unmarked from a Barry Coleman cross.
Rowley again used his head to direct the ball towards goal from a Craig Kelly corner, but keeper David Reay saved comfortably.
The second half started with neither side penetrating the defences and it was not until the 61st minute that an attempt was made on goal, with Powell having a decent chance saved by Reay and the rebound was way off target by Sam Warburton.
With time running out for either side to get a winner, the ever impressive Powell had a shot after a good run but was agonisingly wide.
That was to prove costly for rugby because at the end of five minutes of injury time, Stocksbridge struck a winner from a free kick. Smith conceded the set piece and from Harrison Biggins’ perfectly high ball into the area, Richard Patterson rose the highest to score with a powerful header from close range past Niall Cooper.
Once play restarted the referee blew for full time which was a cruel end to a decent showing from Rugby.