RUGBY TOWN: Chance to complete hat-trick of cup wins with Vase trip to Ingles
Back in league action on Tuesday evening with visit to Oadby
Rugby Town complete their consecutive trio of cup games this Saturday, with a trip to Ingles FC - who groundshare with Shepshed Dynamo - in the Second Qualifying Round of the FA Vase.
Valley will be hoping for a similar performance and scoreline to the two knockout games over the past week - which saw a stunning 4-2 FA Cup success at Redditch at the weekend and a comfortable 4-1 victory in the UCL League Cup at Harborough on Tuesday evening.
Their destination this Saturday wwas decided after Wednesday evening’s replay between Melton Town and Ingles who play a level below Rugby, with Melton currently unbeaten and top of the UCL Division One and Ingles promoted to the East Midlands Counties League in the summer after they won the Leicestershire Senior League last time out.
Town’s reward for the Redditch FA Cup win is a home tie in the Second Qualifying Round of the competition against another team who play two levels above them in the non-league pyramid - Hednesford - on September 22.
Rugby were trailing 2-1 at the Trico Stadium last Saturday, when their ace marksman Danico Johnson was sent off with just ten minutes remaining. Despite this, Town dug deep to stun the hosts with three late strikes and secure their place in the next stage.
As a result of his red card, Johnson will now miss both the upcoming Vase tie and the Hednesford clash - as well as the league game at Oadby sandwiched between them on Tuesday (18th).
The loss of leading scorer Johnson - who took his season’s tally to 11 goals with a third hat-trick of the campaign to-date at Harborough - will be a big blow for Valley manager Carl Adams, although he will have been encouraged to see Johnson’s normal strike partner Charlie Evans also notch a treble at Redditch and his potential replacement up-front recent signing Romario Martin open his Town account on Tuesday evening too.
The Harborough victory has earnt Rugby a home game against Leicester Nirvana - the only side to beat Town so far this season - in the next round of the League Cup, with the game scheduled to take place at Butlin Road on Tuesday 25th September.
Town midfielder Stefan Blake sits out the final game of his three match suspension this Saturday, with Adams’s main injury concern seeing fellow midfielder Richard Bunting nursing a sore groin.
Two new players have joined the club over the past week though, with midfielder Lewis Hayden joining from MFL Premier Division Walsall Wood and another of Town’s academy prospects - defender Josh Steele - also signing on for the first team.
Hayden played the full ninety minutes at Harborough, whilst Steele joined fellow academy player Jamal Adams in appearing from the bench as Rugby again came from behind to coast to victory.
Town’s successful cup exploits last weekend saw them drop two places to fifth in the UCL Premier Division league table though, with Eynesbury and Deeping maintaining their unbeaten starts to the season to leapfrog over them.
Tuesday evening’s hosts Oadby have also yet to lose in the league so far - albeit from only two games, although their FA Cup adventure for the year came to an end with a 2-1 defeat at Ansley Nomads on Saturday.
# The coach to Ingles (who groundshare with Shepshed Dynamo) will leave Butlin Road at 11.45am with the Oadby one setting off at 5.30pm. For latest information contact Tony Mann on 07970 691366.