Rugby Town keep slim play-off hopes alive after Sheffield victory - The Rugby Observer
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14th Aug, 2022

Rugby Town keep slim play-off hopes alive after Sheffield victory

Rugby Editorial 11th Apr, 2016 Updated: 27th Oct, 2016

TWO first half goals was enough to earn Rugby Town a second consecutive victory at home to Sheffield FC and keep their slim play-off hopes alive in the Northern Premier League South Division, reports Jon Venner.

Town lead at the interval courtesy of an own goal and a neat Callum Powell finish but the hosts let things drift a little after the restart and against more penetrative opposition could easily have been in trouble, however they held out for a 2-0 victory at Butlin Road on Saturday.

With keeper Sam Andrew and star performer Kevin Thornton both ruled out through injury, Rugby boss Dale Belford gave a first league start to his son Courtney between the sticks, with Kurtis Revan also recalled to the starting line-up.

The home side were in front after just ten minutes, when Sheffield skipper Stuart Ludlam applied the final touch to a Kurtis Revan cross, after the winger had done well on the right hand flank.

Revan then pulled a decent effort just wide of the target and the visitors’ keeper Jamie Green was quickly across his goal to cut out a Rob Parker pull-back, as Rugby continued to dominate proceedings, with Mitch Piggon also going close with a flicked effort over Green that pulled up just short of the target.

Matt Roney lifted one over from an angled position in a rare Sheffield foray into the box, before normal service was resumed at the other end when Powell flashed in a dangerous cross.

Powell did double Rugby’s advantage on 28 minutes though, when he broke free down the left to lift the ball over keeper Green.

It was almost three shortly after when Matt Curley’s skidding strike from distance was just out of the reach of both Piggon and David Kolodynski, although Belford did save well with his legs from Alec Denton just before the half-time whistle

This late first half chance seem to kick-start the visitors after the sides re-emerged, with James Gregory and Roney soon both sending half chances off-target.

Sheffield’s best chance then came when Belford was again down well to deny Denton, with Chris Tullin blocking Ross Goodwin’s follow-up effort on the line.

Having weathered the visitors’ mini-storm, Town finally settled into their game again, and Powell shot wide and Curley nearly played in substitute Jake Healy.

Fellow sub Luke Delaney really should have added a Valley third late-on, when he blazed over from a great position after Healy had set him up.

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