RUGBY TOWN: Saturday trip to Northwood - leaders looking for a win as title race hots up

Nathan Fox clears in the rain against Egham (picture Martin Pulley)
Nathan Fox clears in the rain against Egham (picture Martin Pulley)

David Kolodynski breaks Danny Conway’s goal scoring record

Not even the goalscoring prowess of record-breaking David Kolodynski could inspire Rugby Town to victory on Tuesday evening at Aylesbury, with Valley only able to follow up their weekend home victory over Egham with a goalless draw in Buckinghamshire, writes Jon Venner.

Kolodynski had notched his 125th Valley goal in Saturday’s 3-1 success, passing Danny Conway’s long-standing total to establish himself as the club’s top scorer in all competitions in senior football – having already smashed the Southern League-only figure last October.

He will need to polish up his shooting boots for the trip to Northwood this Saturday though, after 2nd placed Dunstable reduced the gap at the top to just a single point, following their 3-0 midweek win at Daventry – denting the title prospects of their now 4th placed hosts in the process.

Elsewhere, Kettering’s impressive 21 match unbeaten run finally came to an end at Barton – who leapfrogged them back into 5th as a result – and Slough returned to 3rd again after the 7-1 drubbing of North Greenford.

The Northwood fixture is the first of the six remaining now for Town – with home matches on consecutive Saturdays (5th and 12th April) against Chalfont and St.Ives followed by a trip to Slough on the 19th, the Easter Monday visit of Barton and then the final match of the season at Hayes.

Saturday will represent Rugby’s sixth trip to Chestnut Avenue in the last nine years, having registered their first victory there last time out - thanks to Fazel Koriya, Sam Youngs and Ellis Myles goals.

The Middlesex club’s play-off aspirations appear to be fizzling out of late, after failing to kick-on in recent matches – with just one league victory in the last five played leaving them now five points adrift of the zone.

Town boss Dave Stringer will be hoping his squad is back to near-maximum strength once more for the weekend, with Seb Lake-Gaskin, Jamie Towers and Richard Blythe available, and hopefully Nathan Haines and Ben Gallant both fit again.

Lewis McBride is still away in Australia though, with Greg Kaziboni available for the last game before the start of his three-match suspension for his sending-off against Egham.

# Saturday’s coach to Northwood will leave Butlin Road at 11.00 a.m. For latest information regarding availability of places, contact Tony Mann on 07970 691366.

# David Kolodynski’s record-breaking 125th goal came in his 170th start for the club, with a further 68 appearances from the bench – a strike-rate acknowledged as “tremendous” by Valley founder Keith Coughlan.

However Coughlan was keen to stress that Danny Conway’s now-surpassed record total (from 373 starts + 17 sub) came when he was often not used as the main target-man – playing alongside a striker like Ian Crawley or Steve Norris instead.

Kolodynski is still some way short of the club’s all-time leading scorer in all levels of football though, with Hedley Lewis holding that record for his 196 goals between 1964 and 1975.

Rugby-born Lewis – who still lives in the town – was the son of the late Handel, who was Treasurer for the Oakfield-based Rugby Town.

Record-breaking breakdown:

Kolodynski (125 goals): Southern League 109, League Cup 4, F.A.Cup 8, F.A.Trophy 1, Birmingham Senior Cup 3. First goal vs Cheshunt (04.11.2006). Eleven hat-tricks. Best season 35 goals, 2012/13.

Conway (124 goals): Southern League 66, League Cup 18, F.A.Cup 11, F.A.Vase 5, F.A.Trophy 3, Birmingham Senior Cup 9, Midland Floodlit Cup 7, Daventry Charity Cup 3, Inter League Competition 2. First goal vs Sutton Coldfield (23.08.1983). Final goal vs Crawley (05.05.1990). Two hat-tricks. Best season 28 goals, 1983/84.