Home to struggling Wellingborough Whitworth this week
Rugby Town boss Carl Adams described last weekend’s UCL Premier Division 1-1 draw at Desborough as his side’s “worst performance of the campaign so far”, as Valley continued their indifferent away form in the league this season.
Whilst they have continued to impress at Butlin Road, Town have struggled on the road and since their opening day victory at Peterborough Northern Star, they have since gone on to win just once in four league away outings - a less than convincing 1-0 success at Eynesbury.
The Desborough draw joins the defeats at Oadby and Leicester Nirvana as games to forget for Adams’s men, and the Valley manager has vowed to act quickly to try and keep a promotion bid on track.
Ahead of the start of his first season at the club, Adams had promised to give it a minimum of ten UCL games before reviewing things, but with the poor display at Desborough coming on the back of a disappointing FA Vase exit at Boldmere the week previously, Adams is already making moves to strengthen his squad with just nine league fixtures completed.
Trey Brathwaite has re-joined Town from MFL side Walsall Wood to start a second spell at the club, and he was straight into the Rugby side that suffered a further away defeat in the Birmingham Senior Cup at Redditch on Tuesday evening.
Left-sided Brathwaite was set to sign for Adams in the summer but - like another recent arrival Liam Francis - had a late change of plan, but the 23 year old now returns to add to his 33 appearances for Valley across two seasons.
Further new arrivals are expected over the next week or two, with the inevitable consequence of some departures from the squad also.
Town host struggling Wellingborough Whitworth this Saturday, when they will be looking to carry on from their last two home league outings - which saw Newport Pagnell and Northampton ON Chenecks both easily dispatched by 4-0 scorelines.
In Valley’s other two Butlin Road matches in the UCL, they had put five past Boston and recorded a clean sheet in another assured victory over Holbeach, and hopes will be high that Wellingborough - who have won just once in the league this season - will be on the end of something similar.
Founded in 1973 as Whitworths, the Northamptonshire club have slowly worked their way up the non-league pyramid and were promoted to their current level at the end of the 2016-17 season.
Their first year in the UCL Premier saw a 20th place finish and their poor start to the 2018/19 term sees them sitting two from bottom in the table once more.
Having slipped a place to 4th following last weekend’s fixtures, Rugby dropped another to 5th in the current rankings following Eynesbury’s midweek victory. Local rivals Daventry extended their lead at the top after ending Pinchbeck’s unbeaten record in comprehensive fashion with a 6-0 romp at Communications Park on Saturday.
Town’s experienced midfield duo Richard Bunting and Justin Marsden both played more than an hour of Tuesday’s Redditch cup defeat on their return from injury, but full-back Keenah Rosser limped out of the tie early in the second half and may join Romario Martin in the unavailable for selection category - with the 19-year-old striker now away on international duty for St.Kitts & Nevis for the best part of a month.