Defeat in last game as Valley miss out on last play-off spot
In the end Rugby Town’s disappointing loss to Royston was irrelevant, as their rivals for the last play-off place, Barton Rovers won 1-0 at Aylesbury United.
Watched by a crowd of 312, Valley were beaten 3-1 at Butlin Road on Saturday, with the visitors going 2-0 up with goals midway through the first half and just after the interval. A Seb Lake-Gaskin penalty made it 2-1 with just four minutes to go, but Royston immediately finished things off with a third goal and Rugby’s hopes of reaching the play-offs for the third year running were over.
Going into their final game of the EvoStik Southern League Division One Central campaign, Rugby knew their fate was out of their hands. Even if they had managed to beat second-placed Royston, they needed Barton Rovers to slip up at Aylesbury United, with a draw at best.
It leaves Rugby sixth in the table, on 73 points, with Barton fifth on 78, Bedworth United fourth on 79 and Royston with 84. Champions Kettering were 11 points clear on 95.
See Thursday’s Advertiser for Jon Venner’s view of the game and more of Martin Pulley’s pictures