By Jamie Arrowsmith 22/02 Updated: 22/02 12:17
Chesham United 2 Rugby Town 1
Red Insure Cup Quarter-Final
LUKE Keen’s 15th goal of the season was not enough to save Rugby from defeat at Southern League Premier Division outfit Chesham United on Tuesday night.
The hosts gained an early lead but Keen struck back quickly to set up an intriguing second half. Leon Archer’s 65th minute goal proved to be enough to send the Generals through though and set up a last four tie with Banbury.
Town boss Dave Stringer had already made three changes from the line-up that started against Bedfont at the weekend with Keen, Ross Miller and Ben Steane recalled to the side.
He then had to further shuffle his selection due to the delayed arrival of skipper Nik Preston, meaning a place at full-back for Andy Gundelach in a decidedly makeshift defence.
This clearly affected Valley in the opening exchanges and the hosts took advantage when Chris Watters got in behind the defence after a Chesham throw to stroke the ball home.
The s seventh minute goal came as no surprise as Watters had already previously seen an effort cleared from the goalmouth by Alex Austin.
Rugby rallied though and Robbie Banks shot wide before he turned provider for Keen after 15 minutes, releasing the striker to unleash an unstoppable effort from nearly 20-yards to make it 1-1.
Town went on to create plenty of opportunities as half time approached.
Seb Hamilton blazed over the bar, Keen forced a corner after a good save from Shane Gore before the keeper got down well to take Ed Booth’s effort at the near post.
At the other end, Gundelach cleared off the line and Valley keeper Dave Bevan twice denied a lively looking Chesham attack.
Therefore the game was evenly poised as the second half began and the visitors continued to impress, with Banks shining for Town.
Bevan saved well from Watters early on at the other end before Banks almost capped a superb 50-yard run with a strike that went just past the post.
However, five minutes past the hour mark, Gore’s long clearance bounced over the heads of the Valley defence and Archer was quickest to react - steering the ball low under the advancing Bevan.
Rugby tried their hardest to equalise again, with their best chance seeing Banks blast over from a good position.
Bevan also pulled off a couple of good saves to keep his side in the game but the final whistle signalled the end of Valley’s cup involvements for another season.
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