Chalfont St Peter and Aylesbury games this week
A mounting injury crisis is threatening to derail Rugby Town’s 2013/14 promotion bid, with manager Dave Stringer facing the prospect of being without up to eight of his walking wounded for the two games over the coming week.
Valley travel to Buckinghamshire on Saturday to play Chalfont St.Peter, before hosting a club from the same county next Tuesday – when Aylesbury visit Butlin Road.
With long term victims Robbie Banks and Ashley Spencer already sidelined, Town were without injured trio Andrew Spencer, Lewis McBride and Craig Kelly in last weekend’s hard fought for 4-2 home victory over Northwood.
Sam Belcher limped out of that win with a recurrence of his knee problem, and then to compound matters even further Greg Kaziboni (twisted knee) and Justin Marsden (arm fracture) made premature departures during the 1-1 draw at Egham on Tuesday evening.
Stringer had already recruited ex-Bedworth and Stamford full-back Nathan Haines for the midweek game - with another Greenback old-boy Aaron Donaldson also signing for the club, and no doubt Stringer and his experienced assistant Ady Fuller will be busy thumbing through their book of contacts ahead of the weekend in the hope of boosting squad numbers further.
Town should welcome back Richard Blythe and Seb Lake-Gaskin for the trip to Chalfont though, after both missed the Egham game due to work and family commitments respectively.
Despite the injury woes, the four points gained from their latest games have seen Rugby move up a place in the Calor League Central Division to second – three points behind table toppers Dunstable, who won their crunch clash with Slough on Tuesday evening.
Valley have a 100% record against their opponents on Saturday, with four wins out of four in back-to-back doubles against Chalfont. In fact Town have yet to concede in their two trips to Mill Meadow, although 16th placed Saints are on a decent run of form in the league at the moment with four wins from their last six matches.
Tuesday’s visitors Aylesbury are now managed by the familiar face of Steve Bateman – who was previously in charge at both Hemel Hempstead and Slough.
Bateman’s recent appointment has done little to reverse their poor start to the campaign though, and they are now without a league victory in more than two months – hovering just above the relegation zone in 19th.
Rugby won the most recent game between the two sides back in April, where a David Kolodynski hat-trick condemned the Moles to a 3-0 defeat.
# The club coach to Chalfont on Saturday will leave Butlin Road at 11.00 a.m. For latest information regarding availability, contact Tony Mann on 07970 691366.