Daventry warm up for Hitchin FA Cup date with derby win over Rugby

HEADS UP - action from Daventry's 1-0 win at Rugby (Pictures: Martin Pulley)
HEADS UP - action from Daventry's 1-0 win at Rugby (Pictures: Martin Pulley)

Daventry Town moved up five places in the Division One Central table with an unexpected 1-0 success at promotion rivals Rugby Town in front of 348 spectators on Tuesday night.

Tom Berwick converted a 58th minute penalty against his home town club to provide Daventry with a win, only three days after the shambolic 4-0 home defeat to Royston.

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A return to a more workable 4-4-2 system brought the Purple Army a first league win in Rugby for almost four years. Ironically it was an ex-Daventry player who gave away the goal.

Birmingham-based defender Marcel Simpson made an unnecessary lunging tackle on Berwick close to the by-line and the visiting No.10 dusted himself down before converting the spot-kick.

Berwick wrong-footed Rugby goalkeeper Ben Bennion to provide all three points for Daventry.

In the first half Berwick and Mitchell Piggon both tested Bennion before the unmarked Ryan Howell headed wide at the far post with the goal at his mercy.

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Howell though had an otherwise excellent game as did the entire defence with Nathan Haines and Ollie Wilkinson catching the eye along with unsung heroes such as Barry Deacon and Martin Hutchcox.

Rugby hot-shot David Kolodynski was given little space and James Jepson also made little impact after showing his preference for Butlin Road over Communications Park in the close season.

Saturday’s FA Cup opponents Hitchin were also 1-0 winners at Chesham in the SL Premier Division on Tuesday night to set up an intriguing first qualifying round tie at Top Field this Saturday.

By then Ross Oulton will have completed his return from Kettering Town to take his place in the 16-man Daventry squad alongside another player starting his second spell at Browns Road.

Striker Luke Keen has signed on again after failing to hold down a regular place in the starting line-up with Northern Premier League outfit Rushall Olympic.

Attempts to sign another centre half have failed, with Jamie McAteer deciding to stay put at Coalville at a time when Kyle Cartwright is still a fortnight away from beginning his Daventry comeback,

Josh Cole has now started his second suspension of the new season after Tuesday’s revival was achieved with the same 11 players who made the starting line-up in the 4-0 defeat at home to Royston.