RUGBY TOWN: Early kick-off for Rocester’s visit on Saturday

Chadd Birch
Chadd Birch

Misconduct charge from Birmingham FA following last week’s cup game fracas

There is an early start for Rugby Town this Saturday at Butlin Road, when Rocester are the visitors in the MFL Premier Division for a 1pm kick-off.

Ben Ashby

Ben Ashby

The fixture starts earlier than normal due to the firework display later in the day at the adjacent Whinfield Rec, and Valley go into the game having slipped down to 13th place in the table following their disappointing 4-0 defeat at Bromsgrove last Saturday.

Dave Stringer’s men did at least enjoy what was hopefully a confidence-restoring victory by the same scoreline on Tuesday evening in the Birmingham Senior Cup to secure a home tie in the next round against a Walsall FC side.

Having had such a successful month of September – which saw them receive the team of month award from the league after seven wins and a draw from their eight matches in all competitions, October was significantly less impressive, with just a point to show from league matches against Coventry United, AFC Wulfrunians and Bromsgrove.

There were, however, two cup successes last month against Harrowby in the FA Vase and Tuesday’s revenge win over the Wulfs, and Stringer will be looking to take that cup form into a month that sees them face four teams who are all below them in the league table.

Saturday’s opponents Rocester sit in 19th position after having registered just two victories from their twelve league outings to-date, with Town also facing Haughmond (16th), Shawbury (21st) and Lye (14th) before November is out.

There is also a second round proper Vase tie at Wolves Sporting a week Saturday, after the West Midlands Regional League side saw off Staveley last week.

Valley have already faced this Saturday’s visitors in the league this season, when they recorded their best win of the campaign with a 4-0 win in Staffordshire thanks to a Ruben Wiggins-Thomas hat-trick and a David Kolodynski goal.

Kolodynski missed the trips to Bromsgrove and Wulfrunians following the deep gash to his leg he sustained in the ill-tempered league cup clash recently with Coventry Copsewood, but he may be back in contention this weekend.

In the fall-out from the Copsewood game which ended prematurely after a series of aggressive exchanges between the players had ensued following a late tackle on Rugby’s Ben Ashby by Copsewood full-back George Whitelaw, the club have now received a misconduct charge from the Birmingham FA for its failure to control their players in the incident – which they have subsequently answered in writing.

Match referee Darren Laska has confirmed his reason for abandoning the tie was due to concern for the players’ safety, whilst Town are waiting to hear from the league as to how they wish to settle the cup game – with a potential home match in the next round against South Normanton on the schedule.

Having received a yellow card as a result of the post-incident scuffles, Ashby reached five booking one-match ban status and as a result missed Tuesday’s Birmingham Senior Cup tie.

Chadd Birch also sat out that game and is suspended for two further matches having received a red card for his part in the melee, which received extensive local and national media coverage after Whitelaw documented his side of the story.