RUGBY TOWN: Now 14th in table

Will Grocott against Barton Rovers on Tuesday
Will Grocott against Barton Rovers on Tuesday

Hosting St Ives in league and off to Bedworth in cup

Rugby Town have slipped down a further place in the table to 14th, after another mixed week for them in the Southern League Central Division.

A comfortable 4-1 win at the weekend against Egham was followed by another miserable midweek evening on the road at Barton – where the 2-0 reverse represented their first ever defeat against the Bedfordshire club in nine matches.

It was also the sixth consecutive Tuesday night league fixture that Valley have failed to return home with a victory – following on from a loss by the same score at Northwood back in August and before that a run of three draws and a defeat in the second half of last season, a record which arguably cost them the automatic promotion place come the end of the 2103/14 campaign.

Town are now a long way of that goal this season though, with a thirteen point gap between them and early division frontrunners Kettering.

They are also six points adrift of the play-off zone, meaning a win at the weekend at home to St.Ives is imperative if they are to get their promotion bid back on track again.

The Cambridgeshire opponents come into Saturday’s game on a run of five without a win, with an 8-1 thrashing at Aylesbury amongst four defeats for them in that time.

Rugby’s Lewis McBride was back in the line-up at Barton after an extended spell absent through personal/work commitments, and despite the result he made an encouraging return to action, and Valley boss Dave Stringer should also have Jamie Towers back available to him again.

Rugby are also in action next Tuesday evening (14th) in the first round of the Red Insure Cup, when they make the short trip to Bedworth.

It will be a second appearance for Town on the Greenbacks’ new astroturf pitch, following a 1-1 draw at the Oval on August Bank Holiday Monday – where a 29th minute David Kolodynski wonder goal was quickly chalked off by a United equaliser in the first ever game in the Central Division to be played on an artificial surface.

Bedworth’s return to the Southern League has gone well so far, and Tuesday’s 3-1 win at St.Ives lifted them up into sixth position – with more than a quarter of the campaign already now completed.

# Town are also at home a week Saturday (18th), when they welcome Stafford Rangers to Butlin Road in the Preliminary Round of the FA Trophy.