NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: Eynesbury Rovers on the receiving end of a sucker punch in stoppage time as they succumb to title tips
- Credit: Archant
Manager Mark Ducket declared himself ‘devastated’ after Eynesbury were pipped by the team he expects to win the United Counties League Premier Division title last Saturday.
Rovers saw a penalty saved before they succumbed to a stoppage time goal when beaten 1-0 by Rugby Town at Hall Road.
Recent signing Callum Milne, making his home debut, was the man to fluff his lines from the spot early in the second half as his effort was kept out by visiting goalkeeper Matthew Hall.
Rob Ducket and Kye Andrews also squandered excellent chances in open play before Rovers were hit by a last-gasp sucker punch from Rugby man Lewis Rankin.
“I was chuffed to bits with the way we matched a heavily financed Rugby team,” said Ducket. “But I’m also absolutely devastated that we ended up getting nothing from the game.
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“We should have been out of sight with the penalty and the other glorious chances that came our way, but we couldn’t take advantage of them.
“It was the same story as when we lost to Daventry – another of the top teams – in our previous league game at home. We just aren’t clinical enough in front of goal at the moment.”
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The fact Ducket has been banned from the dugout and having any involvement in the warm-up on matchdays only added to his frustration.
That punishment has been dished out by the FA due to him not yet taking part in two mediation sessions following his seven-match stadium ban, which was picked up last season and carried over into the early games of the current campaign.
Ducket had to take a seat in the stand last weekend and it will be a similar story when they go to unbeaten leaders Daventry this Saturday.
Rovers required penalties to see off lower-level Rushden & Higham in the opening round of the UCL KO Cup last Tuesday.
Goalkeeper Aaron Butcher starred with two saves in the shoot-out as Rovers prevailed 4-3 from the spot following a 1-1 deadlock.
The two sides had traded goals in the space of 60 seconds soon after half-time with Eynesbury briefly behind until Rob Ducket levelled when converting a cut-back from the returning Rhys Thorpe, who has rejoined the club from Newmarket Town.
Rovers handed debuts to teenagers Harry Hinson (who started the game) and Josh Clare (who was introduced as a substitute).