By Jamie Arrowsmith 16/04 Updated: 24/04 16:28
North Greenford United 4 Rugby Town 0
Southern League Division One Central
AN UNEXPECTED heavy defeat for Rugby on Saturday left a serious dent in their play-off hopes with just two games of the season remaining.
Buoyed after successive Easter victories, this defeat brought Rugby back down to earth with a bump. Their cause was not helped when central defender Ed Booth was sent off early in the second half with score only 1-0 but with the hosts sitting 15th and with nothing to play for, Rugby fans were not expecting the performance that followed.
Town's first chance of a forgettable first half came in the 18th minute but Seb Lake-Gaskin's effort was tame and easy for home keeper Andy Caesar.
The hosts took the lead a minute before the break when following the best move of the game, a good run through the centre by Zak Joseph found Mark Nicholls who combined with Wayne Jackson to feed Alex Paine to head over Dave Bevan and into the net.
Rugby needed to improve dramatically in the second period but it got off to the worst possible start when Booth got his marching orders in the 50th minute.
Striker Jackson was going towards goal but had his run checked by Booth. Deeming he was the last man, the referee dismissed Booth without hesitation.
Rugby found it even harder to create chances a man down as the home side defended resolutely.
The lead was doubled in the 71st minute when Sean Roberts seized on Nicholls' fine pass to roll the ball past Bevan.
A fine double save from the Rugby keeper denied Paine and Jackson two minute later but Greenford struck twice in injury time to kill off the game, and perhaps Town’s promotion hopes, when Joseph scored from a header after a cracking pass from substitute Ashley Alexandra in the 91st minute and defender Liam Hind fired home from 35-yards.
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