RUGBY TOWN: Butlin Road double-header

Callum Powell against Basford on Monday   PICTURES BY MARTIN PULLEY
Callum Powell against Basford on Monday PICTURES BY MARTIN PULLEY

Lincoln and Romulus visitors this week

Rugby Town manager Gary Mills is hoping that a return to home action will also see a return to form, after his side once more slumped on the road in Monday’s 3-0 defeat at Basford.

Tom Ryan challenges in the Basford defeat

Tom Ryan challenges in the Basford defeat

Valley face two Butlin Road match-ups in quick succession, with Lincoln United the visitors on Saturday and then Romulus due in town next Tuesday (8th) evening.

To-date this season Town have performed ably on their own turf with two wins and a draw but struggled elsewhere with three straight defeats – conceding thirteen goals in the process.

Mills reflected: “There’s no doubt we have been inconsistent so far. We seem to be able to defend for our lives at Butlin Road, but not be able to replicate this away from home where we have been far too soft in our approach.”

Mills has moved to fill the void left by the acrimonious departure of keeper Scott Dutton by agreeing the dual registration of Jamie McAlindon with Southern League Premier Kettering.

20 year old McAlindon has played four league games for the Northamptonshire already this season, and will join up with his new squad for the first time at training this week.

It is also expected that keeper Niall Cooper will participate at this session too. The ever-present Cooper made more than 50 appearances for the Valley in 2013/14, before leaving the club for personal reasons and Mills is hoping that he is soon ready for a return to action.

He explained: “Niall’s not played for a while, but hopefully he can build up his sharpness and fitness and then we can have him available as an option too in the near future.”

Mills is waiting on the fitness of defender Ryan Walker and striker Tom Liversedge ahead of the weekend visit of Lincoln, after both players missed the Basford defeat.

Walker sat out the game on Monday after a recurrence of his hamstring strain, with Liversedge also ruled out after taking a knock on his ankle against Sphinx. Recent signing Edi Appleton should also be in the squad, after he missed the last two games through suspension and then unavailability.

Lincoln have started their season with two wins and two defeats from their four league fixtures to-date, whilst Romulus have accumulated five points from their five games – one more than 17th placed Town in an Evostik NPL South Division table currently headed by Stocksbridge (who have a maximum return of four wins in four) and propped up by the only team without a victory so far Kidsgrove.

# Full-back Keenah Rosser has also left the club. The 21 year old signed on a dual registration basis from Solihull, but started just one competitive match before his departure.