Town still in with a shot at the title

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Rugby Town are still in with a chance of automatic promotion as Evostik Southern League Central Division champions after their topsy-turvy week ended in joy at leaders Burnham on Tuesday.

Valley have just three games left to play this season – starting with the visit to Butlin Road of Slough tonight (Thursday), where they will be looking for their 14th successive home win to go level on points with the Berkshire club.

Burnham remain favourites for the title though, due to their superior goal difference – which they boosted at the weekend at Woodford, at the same time as Town were slipping (both literally and result-wise) in the Fleet mud.

However, Burnham’s final two games are far from walkovers, as they first host early season pacesetters Guildford on Saturday, before travelling to Beaconsfield – currently in fifth - on the final day of the main campaign.

Rugby are home again this Saturday to 14th placed AFC Hayes, before rounding off the season at another mid-table side Chalfont next weekend.

Third place Godalming are still very much in the mix despite their midweek home defeat to Slough, sitting just two points behind Town. Their run-in sees them home to Northwood and Beaconsfield this Saturday and next Tuesday respectively, before ending up at bottom side Woodford.

Thursday’s Butlin Road visitors Slough will be desperate for points to boost their own play-off ambitions, which had been faltering ahead of that good win at Godalming.

Just six points from the last available 21 has meant the Rebels have struggled to make up the ground on the top five, after their successes earlier in the season in the FA Cup helped create an end of season fixture backlog.

Saturday’s opponents Hayes’s form is even less impressive, having recorded just one Southern
League victory in the last 14 outings.

Rugby will be without the unavailable David Kolodynski for the second of their quickfire home games on Saturday, with midfielder Sam Belcher likely to miss out at least against Slough after he was carried off at Burnham following a heavy first half challenge.

l Rugby Town are offering free admission to under 16s for their crucial final home game of the season against Hayes this Saturday. Free admission will be given when accompanied by a paying adult – limited to two under 16s per adult.

The offer is the first part of the club’s new initiative to increase its base within the local community.

Spearheaded by new commercial manager Michael Moran, this initiative will include a Rugby Schools Cup competition open to all of the town’s 33 primary schools – with the finals day planned for Butlin Road in the summer.