Valley desperate to add to just five points won so far in 2017 as relegation looms large
Rugby Town will look to end their run of three straight defeats this weekend when they make the relatively short trip to Romulus, writes Jon Venner.
Their latest reverse came at the hands of NPL South Division promotion favourites Shaw Lane at Butlin Road last Saturday, and whilst Valley once more put in a decent shift against their big budget opponents, they ended up on the wrong side of a single- goal margin game for the third time in four home outings.
Town have mustered together only five points so far in the 2017 calendar year from the 30 available and the threat of relegation out of step four of the non-league pyramid looms larger with each blank return.
Fortunately the team immediately above them in 20th – Loughborough Dynamo – lost again at the weekend to preserve the two point differential, but the only side below them – Northwich Victoria – cut the deficit to a single point after a draw at Bedworth. Northwich have now made up six points on Rugby in recent weeks after a decent run of form which has seen them lose just once in five matches, and the Cheshire club could even go into the weekend ahead of Town, as they were due to host Lincoln yesterday (Wednesday).
The game at Romulus provides Valley with the most realistic chance of some points within their tough March schedule, as it is followed by back-to-back encounters with Witton – who have lost only three games to-date this season as they attempt to chase down Shaw Lane at the top.
On the other hand, this Saturday’s opponents the Roms are on a stretch of six league games without a victory – a run which has seen them slip down to 15th in the table.
The reverse fixture between the two clubs back in November was very much a ‘Tale of the Rowleys’, with Mason giving Town an early lead before brother Kyle was shown a red card and then cousin Levi scored the winning goal to secure the visitors a 2-1 victory.
Levi has of course since joined up with the rest of the family at Butlin Road, and he will looking to add to the three goal tally at his new club when he faces up to his old team-mates on Sutton Coldfield’s 3G artificial surface.
Town boss Gary Moran is hoping to secure the signing of wide man Robbie Parsons ahead of the weekend trip, with the player who featured for Rugby in a couple of pre-season fixtures likely to join from AFC Rushden & Diamonds.
Parsons has also featured for Corby in the NPL Premier Division this season, and he will join up with a squad bolstered by the arrival last week of defender Guy Clark.
Moran returned once more to his old club Stratford to secure the centre-half on a dual registration basis, and Clark made an assured debut against Shaw Lane.
Another Stratford shared player Charlie Faulkner also returned to action in a Town shirt at the weekend, after a spell back at his parent club.
l The club coach to Romulus will leave Butlin Road at 12.15 pm on Saturday.
For latest information contact Tony Mann on 07970 691366.