FOOTBALL: Five games to go and Rugby Town’s season extended to May 5

Remie Birch impressed at left back against Worcester last weekend    PICTURES BY MARTIN PULLEY
Remie Birch impressed at left back against Worcester last weekend PICTURES BY MARTIN PULLEY

Trip to Lye Town this weekend

Rugby Town strengthened their chances of a top half finish in the MFL Premier Division table after an encouraging week saw them earn four points from their two fixtures against higher placed sides, writes Jon Venner.

Valley followed up on their 1-1 draw at Worcester by overturning a goal deficit to defeat Sporting Khalsa on Tuesday night - with Stuart Hendrie on target in both matches to extend his recent scoring run to four goals in three matches.

Town now have just five games left to play this season, but the fixture pile-up elsewhere in the league has led the MFL to grant a one week extension to the term to allow teams extra time to complete their commitments.

This means that Rugby now travel to Coventry United – who are the furthest behind with 13 games still remaining – on Thursday, May 3 and they then host Loughborough University on Saturday, May 5, a week on from the originally planned season end at Westfields (April 28).

Town’s other two games see them welcoming Shepshed to Butlin Road next weekend and visiting the Sports Ground this Saturday to face a Lye Town team currently in 16th spot in the table.

The two sides played out a 0-0 draw in the reverse fixture back at the end of November, when midfielder Sam Belcher missed an early penalty for the Valley.

This weekend’s Black Country opponents also enjoyed victory on Tuesday evening with a 4-1 home success over AFC Wulfrunians – their first win in four attempts, but generally it has been a disappointing season for Lye, who have failed to build on eighth and fourth placed finishes in 2015/16 and 2016/17 respectively.

Rugby are now level on points with sixth placed Coventry Sphinx, although their local rivals have played three games fewer than Dave Stringer’s men, whilst below them Westfields, Coventry United, Heanor and Shepshed all also have a number of games in hand over Town.

Meanwhile at the top of the division, Bromsgrove now hold a ten-point advantage over their nearest rivals Coleshill, with third placed Highgate’s run of good form continuing with back-to-back wins in three days to close the gap between them and Coleshill to two points, with Highgate’s return coming from two games fewer.

# The club’s annual presentation evening will take place in the Butlin Road hospitality suite on Friday, May 4 with all a 7pm start. All supporters are welcome to attend.

# The coach to Lye on Saturday will leave the clubhouse at 11.45am. For latest information contact Tony Mann on 07970 691366.