RUGBY TOWN: FA Cup trip to Coventry on Sunday

Danico Johnson was Valley's hat-trick hero at Peterborough Northern Star in the first game of the season
Danico Johnson was Valley's hat-trick hero at Peterborough Northern Star in the first game of the season

Jekyll and Hyde opening week in league campaign

Rugby Town’s attentions switch to the FA Cup this weekend, after they played out a truly Jekyll and Hyde opening week to their UCL Premier Division campaign.

Harry Holloway in Town's opening day league victory at Peterborough   PICTURES BY MARTIN PULLEY

Harry Holloway in Town's opening day league victory at Peterborough PICTURES BY MARTIN PULLEY

Valley started life in their new division with a convincing 4-0 win at Peterborough Northern Star last Saturday, but could only follow this up with a below par peformance in a 2-0 defeat at Leicester Nirvana three days later.

A Danico Johnson hat-trick at Peterborough had helped spark much optimism amongst the Valley faithful, but Town were subsequently unable to cope with a pacy Nirvana side and were ultimately made to pay for this.

The early league rankings see Town sitting in eighth place, with just three clubs - Daventry, Cogenhoe and Deeping - recording back-to-back victories in their opening two games.

Local rivals Daventry top the table after they followed up on their 3-1 weekend home success over Holbeach with another impressive Communications Park win over Harborough - this time by a 5-2 margin.

Rugby make the short trip to Coventry United in the Extra Preliminary Round of the nation’s favourite football knock-out competition in a repeat of last season’s game at the same stage.

The tie has been rearranged for a Sunday 3pm kick-off due to a fixture clash with United’s rugby club landlords,

with Town hoping for a re-run of the 2017 match-up which saw them progress into the next round after a David Kolodynski brace gave them a two goal advantage, before a late strike by the hosts set up a nervy finish at the Butts Park Arena.

Valley went on to enjoy further success at the ground later in the season when a Josh Ruff penalty settled the MFL fixture there - helping to ensure a two place gap between the two sides come the end of the league campaign.

A number of ex-Rugby players featured for United last season, but their 2018/19 playing squad looks less familiar. In their opening two games - both 1-0 successes over Shepshed and South Normanton - Coventry’s starting line-up has yet to contain a Valley old-boy, although the popular Kevin Thornton is still at the club and has featured from the bench.

# Town finally make their first home appearance of the competitive season next Saturday (18th) when Boston Town visit Butlin Road in the UCL Premier Division.