Valley face Redditch in last cup competition
Having seen their FA Vase exploits for the season come to a premature end last Saturday at Boldmere, Rugby Town are back in league action this weekend with the relatively short journey to Desborough in the UCL Premier.
Valley make the 25-mile trip to the Northamptonshire club on the back of a disappointing defeat in the First Round Proper of the Vase - where a particularly lacklustre second half performance saw the MFL hosts score twice to turnaround a 1-0 deficit after the interval.
Romario Martin had notched for Town for the third game in a row to give his side the lead from the spot, but they were then reduced to ten men when defender Loyiso Recci was sent off and finally succumbed to a late winner from the hosts.
Recci will now miss this Saturday’s game at Desborough serving his one-match ban for the offence, with third place Rugby looking to maintain the pressure on the division’s top two - Daventry and Pinchbeck - who meet at Communications Park at the weekend.
Daventry returned to the summit following a 1-0 win at bottom placed Rothwell last Saturday to leapfrog and establish a two point advantage over Pinchbeck.
However the Lincolnshire club have a game in hand and are still unbeaten so far this season. Valley sit a further two points behind the leading duo.
Rugby’s forthcoming opponents’ last outing ended in defeat at Cogenhoe to extend Desborough’s run without a victory to five games, and they are currently in 12th.
Their player/coach Jason Turner featured for Valley in two separate spells in 1999 and 2009, with the now-veteran striker scoring three goals in ten starts at the club.
Another Desborough squad member Craig Maisiri was part of the Town set-up in 2013 that just missed out on promotion to the Southern League Premier Division under David Stringer.
Valley and Desborough have met twice previously at first team level, when back in 1974 Rugby coasted to a 5-0 victory in an FA Vase Round One replay - with John Bull (3) and Terry McKee (2) on target, following a 2-2 draw in the original tie.
Following their latest Vase exit, Town’s only remaining cup interest is the Birmingham Senior Cup, and they travel to Redditch next Tuesday (23rd) in the first round of the competition.
The hosts will be looking to avenge their 4-2 defeat at the hands of Carl Adams’s side in the FA Cup a month and half ago, when Valley recorded a memorable giantkilling act over the Southern League Premier Central side - with striker Charlie Evans grabbing a hat-trick in the process.
The Worcestershire side are now managed by ex-Bromsgrove boss Paul Smith and his arrival at the end of September has finally seen a turnaround in fortunes after a very poor start to the season.
Back-to-back wins over Tamworth and Rushall over the past week has now increased their total of league successes to three though, and this has lifted them up one place to 20th in the table.
# The club coach to Desborough will leave Butlin Road at 12.30pm. There is no coach for the Redditch cup game. For latest information contact Tony Mann on 07970 691366.