Valley visit Sporting Khalsa in Extra Preliminary Round
After opening their United Counties League campaign with a win and a draw, Rugby Town’s attentions switch to the FA Cup this weekend when they face a tricky Extra Preliminary Round tie at Sporting Khalsa.
Town followed up on the weekend’s disappointing goal-less affair against Cogenhoe with the convincing 5-1 demolition of Anstey Nomads on Tuesday to sit in second place in the early Premier Division table.
Valley boss Carl Adams gave debuts to six of his seven summer signings, with Kieran Fitzgerald and Ryan Seal particularly impressing at Anstey after they had both missed Saturday’s stalemate.
This weekend’s opponents Khalsa warmed up for the cup meeting with back-to-back Midland Football League victories, and this Saturday’s match-up comes just short of two years on from Rugby’s first-ever meeting with the Willenhall-based outfit - when a Dave Stringer-managed side returned home with a 2-1 victory in the MFL.
Town completed the double with the same scoreline at Butlin Road eight months later, although Khalsa ultimately finished a place above them in fifth come the end of the 2017/18 term.
Sporting bettered that performance last time round with a 3rd place ranking - the same as Rugby, who had switched into UCL - so Town will need to be on their game to match their FA Cup efforts of the previous two years, which have seen two Extra Preliminary successes at Coventry United.
Adams’s main injury concerns for the trip to the Aspray Arena concern hamstring victims Jazz Luckie and Harry Holloway - who both missed the start of Valley’s league campaign, whilst Keenah Rosser limped off early on against Cogenhoe.