Old Hales got back to winning ways this week with a nervy performance against a struggling Rugby 2's. Hales started the match well, being dominant in possession and looking the better the of the two sides in the early stages. Rugby's keeper, who was excellent throughout the whole game, was called into action early pulling off an early stunning save to deny a rocket from striker Tom Durnford and making two solid short corner saves to deny the home side an early lead. Despite all this attacking promise however, it was the away side who took the lead when a counter attack led to a lone Rugby striker firing past keeper Ryan Middleton in goal in his debut for the 1st XI. In seasons gone by, this may have shaken Hales but they leveled two minutes later when forward Chris Hill calmly slotted past to keeper. Hales then took the lead shortly after that when a excellently worked team move was finished off by Chris Whiley at the back post. Riding an attacking wave Hales laid siege to the Rugby goal with the keeper making some excellent saves to keep his side in the game. Shortly before the break Rugby equalized from a penalty stroke when the ball was adjudged to have struck a defender on the line following another counter attacking move.
After the break Hales continued to dominate and were eventually rewarded twice when after several short corner saves both Chris Hill and Tom Durnford found their mark to give Hales a 4-2 lead. This somewhat took the sting out of the game and with both teams tiring Rugby grabbed a late consolation goal when a loopy short corner flick found the top corner. Hales make the long and cold journey to Stone next week looking to make amends for last years fixture.