A depleted Town Youth battled hard at Kilsby Lane on Monday evening before going down to a narrow MFYL Premier Division South defeat in a real thriller to table toppers Rugby Borough who gained at least a modicum of revenge for their County Cup exit at the Arden Garages Stadium ten days earlier.
Regular starters Sammy Mould, Mike O’Regan, Jamie Spiers, Joe Waterfield and Jacob Williams were all missing from Town’s line-up but nevertheless they took an early lead with Jack Vickers’ assured finish from a Rob Sone corner.
A smart save by Town keeper Callum Monaghan kept the lead intact until the half hour mark when Rugby equalised from the penalty spot, but almost immediately afterwards Town went up the other end to regain the lead with a perfectly placed Jack Ballinger header from a precision Sone cross.
But Ballinger was sin-binned a couple of minutes later and Rugby took advantage of Town going down to ten by levelling again to make it all square at half time.
And it was Rugby who looked sharper after the restart and went ahead for the first time in the 50th minute.
More good work from Monaghan prevented Rugby from extending their lead before Town responded with Michael Boyd, Rob Singer and Sone all going close as the game continued to be end-to-end with no let-up in the pace.
With five minutes to go Town thought they had snatched a draw when Sone’s third assist of the evening provided Singer with a header to make it 3-3, but Rugby promptly hit back to grab the winner two minutes later.
Even then Town weren’t finished and both Boyd and Tom Carwardine saw efforts come back off the bar while a Sone shot flew inches wide before the final whistle brought an end to a breathless evening in which Town’s tremendous efforts merited at least a share of the points.
And in a hectic week Nick Ballinger’s side are back in action on Thursday evening when they travel to Bromsgrove Sporting for their League Cup fourth round tie which has already been hit by two weather related postponements in January.