RUGBY TOWN: Warm up win and draw for new-look Valley

Will Muzuimbiri scored a hat-trick on Tuesday evening against Continental Star  PICTURES BY MARTIN PULLEY
Will Muzuimbiri scored a hat-trick on Tuesday evening against Continental Star PICTURES BY MARTIN PULLEY
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Goals galore against Continental Star

Rugby Town’s pre-season preparations continued with two more friendlies over the past week, with Gary Mills’ new charges following up on last Saturday’s 1-1 draw at UCL side Cogenhoe with a comfortable 8-2 victory over Continental Star on the Butlin Road astroturf pitch.

Rugby Town's new-look team together on Tuesday

Rugby Town's new-look team together on Tuesday

Having struggled to find their rhythm at Brafield Road at the weekend, it was then goals galore for a still largely experimental Valley line-up on Tuesday evening with both David Kolodynski and ex-St.Ives striker Will Muzuimbiri grabbing hat-tricks against the Birmingham-based Midland Football League Premier club.

In the Cogenhoe game, the hosts had the better of a generally dour first half, and deservedly took the lead towards its conclusion when Jack Bowen slid in to find the roof of the net from close range. However the second period was a much-more open affair, with the trialling Muzuimbiri grabbing the equaliser with a diving header at the far post to a Tom Glasscoe cross.

The Strachan Football Foundation graduate Glasscoe has featured in all of Town’s practice games so far, having played under Rugby’s assistant-manager Craig Adams at Bedford last season, with another ex-Eagle and one-time Southampton FC academy prospect Joe Curtis also lining-up in the centre of midfield in the three warm-up matches to-date.

Kolodynski opened the scoring on Tuesday running onto a long pass from Mason Rowley to round the hesitant Continental Star goalkeeper and ease the ball home, before then setting up his strike partner Muzuimbiri for an easy second.

Back at Butlin Road David Kolodynski scored a hat-trick

Back at Butlin Road David Kolodynski scored a hat-trick

It was soon three when Muzuimbiri struck again, before the visitors pulled one back from the penalty spot. A Kolodynski penalty at the other end made it 4-1, before Star reduced the arrears once more before the interval.

Boss Mills made an instant impact on the pitch soon after the restart setting up Kolodynski for his treble, and then finding the net himself with a header from a corner, as Town began to run riot against a team only one level lower in the pyramid.

Muzuimbiri’s hat-trick goal followed, before Callum Powell rounded things off thanks to the fortuitous intervention of the dividing cable above the astroturf pitch.

Pending international clearance, Mills is looking to sign the tricky Powell for the coming season, with the ex-Northampton Town man impressing on the wing after returning to the UK from a spell playing in Canada.

Valley’s next scheduled fixture is against Conference North side Solihull on the main Butlin Road pitch on Saturday 25th July, with further friendlies lined-up at Stratford (July 28th) and home to King’s Lynn (August 1st), Northampton Town XI (August 5th) and Barwell (August 8th) ahead of the kick-off of their NPL campaign on Saturday 15th August.

# The draw for the Integro-sponsored NPL League Cup has been made, and Rugby will travel to division rivals Belper in its Preliminary Round on Tuesday 15th September – with a home tie against Ilkeston in the First Round up for grabs for the winner.