Tough time ahead in bid to climb the table
Rugby Town now face a tough trio of matches, with their struggle of a season continuing to see them fighting for their lives near the bottom of the Evostik NPL South Division table.
They did at least emerge with a point from their match against Chasetown last Saturday, after once more handing the opposition a two goal start.
Twice in December – against Sheffield and Stamford – they surrendered similar leads before levelling up on both occasions, only to then concede a winner. However at the weekend, it was almost a perfect Rugby comeback, but alas Aaron Moses-Garvey’s inability to convert a late penalty deprived them of the maximum return.
Valley begin a run of three matches against teams in the top six this Saturday at Basford, who sit just below the play-off zone after their 1-1 draw last weekend at home to Bedworth.
Following this trip to Nottingham, Town then face AFC Rushden & Diamonds for a second successive Tuesday evening fixture, after they met earlier this week at Butlin Road in the NPL league cup competition.
The visitors ran out comfortable winners by a 3-1 margin, and the two sides will reconvene at the Dog & Duck stadium with Diamonds handily placed in 5th position.
Rugby’s draw and Loughborough Dynamo’s weekend win saw them swap places in the bottom two, but the league’s subsequent confirmation of Northwich’s ten point deduction has now parachuted the Cheshire club to the foot of the table – lifting Town back up to 21st again.
Valley travel to Northwich at the end of this month for what will be a crucial game in the relegation battle, but before that trip they will face another team challenging in the upper echelons of the division when 2nd placed Spalding come to Butlin Road a week on Saturday (21st).
Rugby defender Anthony Charles will miss all three upcoming games against current top six opposition, after he received a red card during the second half of the Chasetown game.
The match referee confirmed in his report that he had a clear view of both Charles and Scholars’ skipper James Dance grabbing each other by the neck and this has subsequently earnt them both a three match ban.
Striker Levi Rowley is also likely to miss out against Basford after he suffered an ankle injury during the eventful second half on Saturday, although David Kolodynski’s hamstring niggle which has hampered him over the past few weeks appears now to have improved.
Ryan Quinn became the 60th player to pull on a Valley shirt this season against Chasetown, after the midfielder joined the club from Leamington. The 20 year old was at the Coventry City academy until two years ago, and has since featured for Nuneaton Town and Coventry Sphinx before signing for the Brakes in the summer.
# The club coach to Basford on Saturday will leave Butlin Road at 11.30am and Tuesday’s one to Rushden at 5.30pm.