RUGBY TOWN: Home and away for Valley over busy bank holiday weekend

David Kolodynski in Rugby Town's FA Cup game last weekend    PICTURES BY MARTIN PULLEY
David Kolodynski in Rugby Town's FA Cup game last weekend PICTURES BY MARTIN PULLEY

Stringer’s side keen for better fortunes after two very late defeats this week

Rugby Town will be hoping for better fortunes in the coming week, after twice losing out to late goals in consecutive 3-2 defeats over the past one.

Ruben Wiggins-Thomas worked tirelessly upfront against Romulus

Ruben Wiggins-Thomas worked tirelessly upfront against Romulus

Valley were twice downed by late strikes - first in their exit from the FA Cup at the hands of Romulus at the weekend and then in their first reverse of the league campaign at Heanor on Tuesday.

It will truly be a venture into the unknown for Dave Stringer’s side over the Bank Holiday weekend though, with two games against teams recently promoted into the MFL Premier Division.

Haughmond visit Butlin Road this Saturday having been promoted as champions of the West Midlands League Premier Division at the end of 2016/17, whilst Monday afternoon sees Town travel to South Normanton Athletic to face last season’s East Midlands Counties League runners-up.

Town’s defeat at Heanor saw them slip down to ninth in the table, with the hosts climbing to second place in a division currently headed by Coleshill.

James Dance at Butlin Road last weekend

James Dance at Butlin Road last weekend

Saturday’s opponents have opened their campaign with a draw and a defeat from their two games to-date, whilst South Normanton went into last (Wednesday) night’s

fixture at home to Shepshed in bottom position after three defeats from three outings.

Town will again be without striker Ruben Wiggins-Thomas for the two Bank Holiday matches due to the holiday, after he missed the Heanor defeat, whilst defender Brad Harris also missed the game with an ankle injury.

Craig Kelly and Trey Brathwaite continue to be absent through injury, but Stringer has added to his options in midfield with the recruitment of Sam Belcher – who returns to the club for a third spell.

Josh Ruff in action against Romulus

Josh Ruff in action against Romulus

Belcher was particularly impressive first time round in the Stringer squad that narrowly missed out on promotion to the Southern Premier League in 2013, before returning briefly to play under then manager James Jepson at the start of last season.

# The club coach to South Normanton on Monday will leave Butlin Road at 11.30am.

# The players on Saturday observed a minute’s silence in tribute to longstanding Valley supporter and volunteer Paul Webster, who died recently after a long illness.

# Town’s youth team opened their Midland Floodlit League campaign with a 4-0 defeat at Alvechurch, with England Under 21 manager Aidy Boothroyd amongst the crowd.