TWO late strikes saw Valley snatch a 2-1 victory from a well organised Beaconsfield outfit at Butlin Road on Saturday to stretch their winning streak to seven matches.
Aaron Berry had given the visitors the lead mid-way through a particularly flat first period from Town on Saturday in the Evo-Stik Southern League – Central Division.
But only after the introduction of substitutes Lewis Rankin, Fazel Koriya and Mitchell Piggon did the hosts finally make any real impact with Rankin and Koriya grabbing the vital goals.
Valley’s starting line-up showed two changes from the side that beat Beford 3-0 last weekend with Seb Lake-Gaskin and Ben George coming into the side in place of Robbie Banks and Robbie Burns.
An early chance fell to Lewis McBride but his header sailed over and then Mason Rowley gave Brendan Hazlett in the Beaconsfield goal some early catching practice with a couple of half chances in the opening exchanges.
However it was the visitors that looked the more likely to break the deadlock as the half progressed.
Kofi Lockhart-Adams almost took advantage of a clearance over the top of a static Valley defence but he was unable to gain full control of the ball, while Richard Morris did well to deny a cleanly struck effort by Ollie Jones.
And the goal eventually came when Jones floated a corner to the near post which was flicked into the net by the head of Berry.
George cleared another chance off the line shortly after, and whilst McBride had another shot blocked in the run up to the interval, it was overall an uninspiring first half display by the home side.
Lockhart-Adams almost doubled Beaconsfield’s advantage early in the second period after beating Mason Rowley too easily before drawing another decent save from Morris.
A generally subdued Lake-Gaskin hit the crossbar from the angle as Rugby temporarily broke through the dogged opposing back-line, and Hazlett also had to backpedal quickly to tip over Justin Marsden’s looping effort after Will Grocott had flashed one across the face of the goal.
Rankin was the first to join the action from the bench and he was quickly involved by putting in a cross that was marginally too high for Marsden.
But with nine minutes of normal time remaining the equaliser came. McBride’s cross from the right was helped into the path of Rankin by Koriya, and the teenager made no mistake with a powerful finish.
The two subs combined again in the game’s next attack, but this time Rankin’s shot was cleared, before the visitors’ excessive time wasting tactics came back to haunt them as Koriya scored from close range to secure a dramatic late win.
Town’s Justin Marsden wins back possession. (s) Photo by Martin Pulley
Richard Blythe jumps over a sliding challenge. (s) Photo by Martin Pulley