RUGBY TOWN: Off the bottom at last before New Year trips
Valley off to Stamford tonight (Friday) and Carlton on Monday
Rugby Town’s Boxing Day 3-1 victory over Bedworth finally lifted the club off the bottom of the Evostik NPL South Division after a three-month stint there.
They sit ahead of new basement incumbents Loughborough on goal difference, with a three-point gap to 20th placed Carlton – who Valley visit on Bank Holiday Monday (January 2).
The Carlton fixture is the second of Town’s New Year away double header, with a trip to Stamford on Friday evening also seeing them facing a side struggling in the bottom third of the table.
Goals from David Kolodynski and Chris Sterling (2) maintained Rugby’s excellent record over the years in the traditional Christmas holiday match, making it four successive Boxing Day victories now.
Furthermore it is now 15 years since the club last tasted defeat at Butlin Road in the equivalent fixture - when they lost to Erith & Belvedere in the Southern League Eastern Division in 2001.
Friday’s opponents Stamford played a Boxing Day 1-1 draw with AFC Rushden & Diamonds to keep themselves in 18th position, with the Lincolnshire side now only having won one of their last eight league outings.
When the two sides met in what was Town’s first home game of the current campaign, the Daniels grabbed the points thanks to a stoppage time winner after David Kolodynski had originally given Rugby a second-half lead.
Kolodynski’s Boxing Day goal took his 2016/17 tally to eight, although the club’s all-time senior leading scorer was withdrawn at half-time with a reoccurrence of his ongoing hamstring injury, so must be a doubt for Friday’s game.
Valley also lost out to a late goal in the reverse match-up against their other New Year opponents Carlton, with Danny Gordon’s 87th minute strike the only goal of another August Butlin Road defeat.
The Nottingham-based club have only won three more times in the league since that Bank Holiday victory, and were on the end of 2-1 defeat on Boxing Day at local rivals Basford.
Following the two away games, Rugby return to home territory a week Saturday (7th) for the visit of Chasetown, before hosting Rushden in the second round of the league cup three days later.
# The club coach to Stamford for the 19.45 kick-off will leave Butlin Road at 17.15, whilst the Carlton one departs at 12 noon. For latest information, contact Tony Mann 07970 691366.