RUGBY TOWN: Great chance of good cup run

Justin Marsden
Justin Marsden

Two more games this week against Chertsey and St Ives

Rugby Town have a great chance of reaching the third qualifying round of the F.A.Cup for the first time in five years, after they were paired with East Midlands Counties League side Blaby & Whetstone.

The Leicestershire club beat Dunkirk in a midweek replay to earn themselves a home tie on the 28th of September against Valley – who themselves dispatched NPL Premier Nantwich in the first qualifying round at the weekend.

However before then, Rugby face two more Calor League fixtures with first Chertsey visiting Butlin Road this weekend before a trip to league new boys St.Ives next Tuesday.

Town’s 2-0 midweek victory at Kettering lifted them back up to ninth in a Central Division table currently propped up by Saturday’s visitors.

Chertsey have managed just a single league point from their opening seven games, and Valley will be looking maintain an unbeaten competitive record against the Surrey club – which has seen them record three wins and a draw in the previous two seasons.

St.Ives are currently one point and two places ahead of Town in their first ever campaign at this level, following their promotion from the UCL at end of 2012/13.

Valley boss Dave Stringer has strengthened his squad over the past week with the arrivals of midfielder Louis Harris and forward Aaron Moses-Garvey.

20 year-old Harris joins from Tamworth, having also featured in the Football League for both Notts. County and AFC Wimbledon following his release after a year on a professional contract at Wolves.

Moses-Garvey has four full international caps for his father’s native country St.Kitts and Nevis, who are currently ranked 138th (out of 209) in the FIFA world rankings. Having started as a youngster at Birmingham, he has since been at Hinckley, Worcester and Redditch – before joining Stratford at the start of this season.

Harris made the Town starting line-up on Tuesday, with Moses-Garvey impressing from the bench at Nantwich and again at Kettering – when he scored Rugby’s second goal.

Stringer moved to bolster the numbers following the departures of fringe players Sheldon Dodd (to Long Buckby) and Craig Maisiri (to Leighton), with Sam Belcher also suffering a recurrence of his knee injury – which may rule him out for up to a month.

In addition, Rugby will be without the services of suspended duo Craig Kelly and Lewis McBride against Chertsey on Saturday, with McBride completing his three match ban by missing the trip to St.Ives.

# Tuesday evening’s coach to St.Ives will leave the clubhouse at 5 p.m. For latest information regarding availability, contact Tony Mann on 07970 691366.