Valley keep hopes alive with back-to-back victories
Having kept alive their outside chance of UCL Premier Division title glory with back-to-back victories over Harborough and Rothwell, Rugby Town’s mettle will be well and truly tested this weekend with a trip to fellow challengers Deeping Rangers.
Valley struggled for significant periods in both of their games over the past week, but ultimately a found a way to see off the opposition - with Charlie Evans’s recent rich vein of scoring form seeing him first net both goals in the 2-1 Harborough win and then grab the last in the 3-1 victory at Rothwell.
These latest strikes made it six in three games for the 21-year-old attacker and 14 in total this season, as he continues to impress with his effort and versatility.
Town will undoubtedly need to up their game at the Haydon Whitham Stadium on Saturday though against a side that extended their excellent form with an eleventh UCL win on the trot after a 1-0 success at Pinchbeck last weekend.
This run has seen them emerge as the primary contenders to league leaders Daventry, whilst Rugby have stuttered a little after their early season promise.
The current rankings see Daventry top the table with 71 points from 28 games, with Rangers five points adrift with a game in hand and Rugby three further points back.
Therefore a Town victory in Lincolnshire would see them recapture second spot, a week ahead of a meeting between Daventry and Deeping at Communications Park - at the same time as Rugby travel to the division’s whipping boys Wellingborough Whitworth.
Deeping had underlined their quality earlier in the campaign in the reverse fixture at Butlin Road, earning a point with a deserved late equaliser to Danico Johnson’s opening goal for Town.
Their current eleven match winning streak stretches back to Boxing Day, although they were a touch fortunate to secure their latest success after Pinchbeck missed the chance to secure a draw against them on Saturday by missing a late penalty.
Daventry travel to Newport Pagnell this Saturday, having seen their position at the top weakened a little on Tuesday evening when they were held to a 1-1 home draw by Oadby. The Leicestershire visitors had taken a fifth minute lead before ex-Valley man Ross Harris grabbed a leveller for the hosts.
Rugby’s main injury concern this weekend centres on the experienced Richard Bunting, who was forced from the field midway through the first half at Rothwell with the recurrence of a groin injury.
Bunting returned to Carl Adams’s midfield at the end of January after a three month absence and has ably plugged the gap there caused by the departure of Richard Blythe to Coventry Sphinx.
l The coach to Deeping will leave from outside Rugby School at 11am and from Butlin Road at 11.15am. For latest information contact Tony Mann on 07970 691366.