Players hoping for big improvement in weather to dry out flooded pitch
Rugby Town can only hope for a minor miracle with the weather this weekend when they are due to make the trip to 18th placed Aylesbury FC.
But with the pitch currently under water earlier in the week, it’s not looking likely.
After a second consecutive set of Calor League Central fixtures were washed out on Saturday, it is a case of ‘as you were’ at the top of the table – with Valley just a point behind leaders Dunstable, although the Bedfordshire side do have a game in hand on them.
With the New Year’s schedule (when Town were not due to play anyway) also totally postponed, there is still a ten point gap between Rugby and third placed Barton – with Royston and Daventry currently occupying the final two play-off places, and Slough and a resurgent Kettering heading the chasing pack.
Town’s home game against Aylesbury United last weekend was unable to go ahead, with the persistent morning rain finally hampering the best efforts of the club to get the match on by clearing the surface water that had settled on parts of the Butlin Road pitch.
Rugby face this Saturday’s opponents little more than a month after the reverse fixture, when Valley surrendered a two-goal lead, before Seb Lake-Gaskin’s 78th minute penalty secured the maximum return.
Town suffered late spot-kick heartache of their own on Tuesday evening against Tamworth though, when they exited their final knock-out competition of the season with a 1-0 Birmingham Senior Cup defeat.
Rugby have a perfect record at Aylesbury’s Haywood Way Stadium since the two teams’ first ever meeting there in the 2011, with three straight wins to-date – including a 2-0 success there last time out thanks to goals from Alex Gudger and David Kolodynski.
Kolodynski’s recent goalscoring exploits have seen him move to within just ten of all-time club record scorer Danny Conway.
Injuries and form allowing, Conway’s total of 124 in 373
appearances is therefore well within Kolodynski’s grasp before the end of the campaign – with the ace marksman’s 114 goal tally coming in just 157 starts.
Having welcomed back skipper Alex Gudger to action against Tamworth after a two game absence due to tendonitis in his knee, Valley boss Dave Stringer should also have midfielder Richard Blythe back in the fold for the weekend trip.
# The postponed home game against Aylesbury United has now been rearranged for Tuesday, February 25, with another recently postponed fixture at Potters Bar set for Monday, January 27.
# Valley’s next Butlin Road outing is a week Saturday (18th) when Kettering are the visitors.
# The coach this Saturday will leave the clubhouse at 12 noon. For latest information on availability of places, contact Tony Mann on 07970 691366.