Trip to Northampton ON Chenecks on Saturday
The gap at the top of the UCL Premier Division between leaders Daventry and second placed Rugby Town has been cut to seven points following last week’s set of fixtures, which saw Valley battle to a weekend 3-2 victory at Cogenhoe and then Daventry drop points at home to Wellingborough on Tuesday evening.
Daventry had opened up a 12-point advantage over their local rivals following their Boxing Day win at Butlin Road, but Town had initially made up some ground with a subsequent home success over Oadby, whilst the Northamptonshire club sat out the final set of matches in 2018.
Daventry were again idle on Saturday, when a Fazel Koriya brace and a Lewis Rankin goal saw off an in-form home team, but they were back in midweek action at Communications Park falling behind to a 10th minute Wellingborough strike before Taylor Orosz equalised just before half-time.
Rugby visit 16th placed Northampton ON Chenecks this Saturday, before hosting Leicester Nirvana next Tuesday (January 15), with Daventry facing a home game against the league’s whipping boys Wellingborough Whitworth at the weekend and then a trip to another struggling outfit Kirby Muxloe three days later.
Valley still do hold a game in hand over Daventry though, with the two sides set to meet in the return fixture over the Easter holiday weekend.
Town will be almost back to full strength this weekend in Northampton, with Dominic Perkins and Danico Johnson both back available again after missing the Cogenhoe game through suspension.
The banned pair joined Liam Francis on the sidelines - considerably diminishing the physical presence of Carl Adams’s line-up at the weekend, which included the significantly less sturdy Keenah Rosser and Josh Steele as part of back central three.
Francis serves the final game of his three match punishment this Saturday for a harsh sending off at Wellingborough just before Christmas.
Koriya’s Cogenhoe double meant it is now five goals from just six starts (and three substitute appearances) since his return to Butlin Road at the beginning of November, and Rankin’s latest strike now takes him to within two of Johnson’s 14-goal Premier Division game tally.
Saturday’s hosts Chenecks have won just four of their 21 UCL games so far this season, and as a result sit just five points ahead of the division’s relegation zone.
The two teams met at Butlin Road back in October, with Rugby running out comfortable winners by a 4-0 margin - with Town’s goals coming from Loyiso Recci, Romario Martin, Lewis Hayden and Charlie Evans.
Valley will be looking for revenge over 8th placed Nirvana on Tuesday, with the Leicester-based club having beaten them twice already this season.
A 2-0 defeat in Town’s second game of their inaugural UCL season was followed by a home league cup reverse at the end of September, and both times Nirvana have looked a particular threat on the break.
Leicester finally went out of the FA Vase last Saturday, after losing a fourth round tie at one of Town’s foes from the MFL last season Coventry United - leaving Deeping Rangers as the only remaining UCL club in the last 16 of the competition.
# Saturday’s coach to Northampton will leave from outside Rugby School at 12 mid-day and from Butlin Road at 12.30pm. For latest information contact Tony Mann on 07970 691366.