RUGBY TOWN: Eynesbury Rovers make first visit since 1974
Daventry now ten points clear after Valley's slip-up against Pinchbeck
Rugby Town slipped further behind leaders Daventry in the race for the United Counties League Premier Division title last Saturday, after failing to secure a seventh successive home victory against Pinchbeck.Whilst Valley were scraping a point thanks to a late penalty from Edwin Ahenkorah, Daventry were churning out yet another win - their 25th in 31 UCL outings to-date - at Desborough to extend the gap to ten points.However, one small piece of good news for Carl Adams’s side has come with the probable demise of Oadby, with the Leicestershire club announcing their withdrawal from the league at the end of last week.Unless there is some unlikely reversal of this decision, there will soon be an expunging of Oadby’s results from this season’s records. In this scenario, Rugby would gain one point back on the leaders - by virtue of the fact that Daventry enjoyed a win and draw in their two fixtures against Oadby, whilst Valley followed up on an early campaign loss at Wigston Road with a home victory in December.Despite this and the game in hand Rugby still hold over the Northamptonshire outfit, it is still difficult to see Town catching them - although Daventry’s final two fixtures of the season do see them first host Rugby and then travel to Deeping, who cut the gap between second and third to a point by returning to winning ways at the weekend with a narrow 1-0 home success over Newport Pagnell.
Having added ex-Stratford Town youth teamer George Dawson to his squad ahead of the Pinchbeck draw, Adams has once more turned to his old squad for his latest recruit Eli Bako.
Bako was with Adams at Knights Lane last season, but left the club in October to join MFL Premier Division side Coventry United.
The 22 year old winger had previously had spells at Ilkeston and Redditch, and his signing alongside the arrival of Dawson - who made a first appearance in a Town shirt as a late substitute at the weekend - takes the total of ex-Stratford men now at Butlin Road to eleven.
Rugby host seventh placed Eynesbury Rovers this Saturday, whilst Daventry face Sleaford (in 14th) at Communications Park and Deeping travel to bottom club Wellingborough Whitworth.
The Eynesbury home fixture represents a first meeting between the two teams in this neck of the woods for nearly 45 years, with the last occasion coming in September 1974 when goals from Bill Savage and Jeff Dunning gave Rugby a 2-0 victory.
A Lewis Rankin strike secured Town the points earlier this season in the reverse fixture in Cambridgeshire, and Rovers come into this Saturday’s game on the back of hammering Whitworth 5-0 last time out.
Valley will be without Dom Perkins this weekend, as the midfielder starts a two game ban for reaching ten bookings in league competitions.
Therefore Adams will be hoping that fellow midfielders Richard Bunting and Harry Holloway will be back available to him. Bunting has now sat out three matches with a groin injury and Holloway’s absence on holiday followed by an illness has seen him miss the last two.