All the sixes as Town hit form

Valley players celebrate Sam Youngs' hat-trick. Picture by Martin Pulley
Valley players celebrate Sam Youngs' hat-trick. Picture by Martin Pulley
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Rugby Town are now up into sixth place in the Evostik Southern League Central Division following their scintillating win over Guildford last weekend.

With six more points up for grabs over the coming week, they will be looking to break into the play-off zone with a quarter of the season gone.

Valley travel to Chertsey on Saturday and then play host to Northwood next Tuesday (23rd) after destroying Guildford’s 100 per cent record in a 6-1 victory at Butlin Road.

Town boss Dave Stringer had affirmed last week that despite the form of the opposition, he was a confident man going into the game against one of the early frontrunners and his optimism was well-placed after Rugby raced into a three goal lead within just sixteen minutes.

Stringer will be looking to continue this run of four consecutive league victories against a Chertsey side currently languishing in 20th in the table – with just a win and a draw from their ten matches to-date.

The Surrey club’s only league success came back in August, and having managed the double over them last season thanks to two 1-0 victories, Town will be hoping their recently refreshed line-up can do the job again.

Two of the recent arrivals David Kolodynski and Sam Youngs accounted for all six of the goals last weekend, and the new-look Valley side appears to have pace aplenty - with the attacking force of Seb Lake-Gaskin, Fazel Koriya, Ellis Myles and Kolodynski all too hot for Guildford to handle on the day.

Tuesday evening’s visitors Northwood have had a steady start to the new campaign and sit in 13th.

The game will be the ninth between the two clubs in the Southern League over the last seven years, with the head-to-head record evenly poised at two wins a piece and four draws – two of which came last season.

Stringer should welcome back Richard Blythe into the squad, after the midfielder missed the aborted Leamington Red Insure League Cup tie on Tuesday evening (see page 102). Blythe – who has been absent for all of Valley’s recent night fixtures due to a change in work circumstances – is hopeful that he will soon be able to alter his shifts to ensure availability for midweek games.

The Leamington tie has been rearranged for Tuesday 30th October, which will mean that the league match with Thatcham already scheduled for that evening will be played on a different date.

There should be no new major injury concerns for Stringer ahead of the trip to Chertsey, although Michael Williams has yet to
make a re-appearance after his return from suspension due to a twisted ankle.

Full-back Craig Kelly missed the Guildford game with an infected shin, but returned for the 75 minutes played in Tuesday’s cup tie, which was abandoned after a power failure saw the reduced lighting levels deemed too unsafe to continue by the match officials.

n Last Saturday’s crowd of 324 was the club’s biggest attendance since October 2010, and a £50 donation was collected for the Free Kicks Foundation – a charity which provides football-related activities for ill, bereaved and disadvantaged children. In support of Non League Day, supporters of all professional clubs were offered discounted entry to the game and the crowd included fans from as far away as Millwall and Crystal Palace. Thanks to Tom Crinigan for all his hard work organising the various Non League Day events.

n The club coach to Chertsey on Saturday will leave the clubhouse at 11 a.m. For more information contact Tony Mann on 07970 691366.

n See page 102 for match reports.