FOOTBALL: Big basement battle at Butlin Road on Saturday

David Kolodynski in last week's game with Newcastle Town   PICTURES BY MARTIN PULLEY
David Kolodynski in last week's game with Newcastle Town PICTURES BY MARTIN PULLEY

Bottom club Loughborough Dynamo visit

Rugby Town went into last night’s crucial 3-1 victory at Northwich Victoria knowing that defeat would send them back into the drop zone of the Evostik NPL South Division ahead of another massive fixture this weekend when Gary Moran’s men host bottom club Loughborough Dynamo.

Anthony Charles in defence at Newcastle Town

Anthony Charles in defence at Newcastle Town

Both Town and 21st placed Vics lost at the weekend, although arguably Valley will be in better spirits ahead of the ahead the Wincham Park clash after only suffering a narrow defeat whilst the Cheshire side were being hammered 6-1 at Rushden.

Rugby’s 1-0 reverse at Newcastle was the 16th time this season they had lost out by a single goal, and meant the gap between them and Northwich remained at just three points – although last night’s opponents do have a superior goal difference.

Saturday’s visitors Dynamo did not play last Saturday, but they were in action on Tuesday when they extended their long losing streak to eight matches with a 3-0 defeat at Lincoln – meaning they will come to Butlin Road seven points adrift of Town.

Northwich visit Sheffield this weekend, with Rugby’s two main rivals at the bottom then also set to meet at Wincham Park next Wednesday to round off a crucial week or so in the relegation battle.

After the weekend, Town’s final three fixtures see them face a trio of clubs with little to play for, with another home match against 18th placed Gresley on Easter Saturday, the short trip to Bedworth (in 11th) on the Bank Holiday Monday before they round off the campaign at Butlin Road against Kidsgrove (in 10th) on Saturday 22nd April.

Loughborough came out on top 3-2 in the reverse fixture between the two sides back in November, when Valley gifted the hosts a three goal start within fifteen minutes before second half strikes from Aaron Moses-Garvey and Charlie Faulkner gave Town late – but unfulfilled – hope.

Moses-Garvey is suspended at the weekend as he sits out the second of a three match ban for his recent sending-off, whilst Moran would also have been hoping for a return to action for the injury hit defensive duo Kyle Rowley and Trey Brathwaite ahead of the Northwich (and/or Loughborough) outings.

Brathwaite missed his second successive game last weekend with a muscle injury, whilst Rowley was only named on the bench after a struggling with a series of niggles over previous weeks.