Only pride to play for as Valley finish third in first UCL campaign
Rugby Town end their first ever UCL Premier Division season with the relatively short trip to Market Harborough this Saturday.
Following their Easter Monday 3-0 defeat at champions Daventry, Valley can no longer catch second placed Deeping either now, so it will just be pride at stake for Carl Adams’s men at the weekend.
The Daventry reverse came two days on from a 2-1 home win over Desborough, but with Deeping securing four points from their two games over the holiday period, the differential between Town and them is now five points.
Adams reflected on the nearly-concluded campaign at the club’s annual presentation evening immediately after the Desborough victory.
He said: “Unfortunately we have just come up a little bit short this season, but I would like to thank the players for their efforts and also the loyal supporters that travelled around with us this season.
“In many other years our record could easily have us up there fighting for top spot, but we have come up against a very good side in Daventry and they have deservedly won the league by a comfortable margin.”
Daventry’s win over Valley meant it was still just one defeat for them in the league this season and they enjoy a nine point lead at the top, with just their final day visit to Deeping to come this Saturday.
In contrast Town have lost seven of their 37 UCL encounters to-date, although Adams was keen to focus on the positives from his first season at Butlin Road.
“For the first 25 games or so, we enjoyed some great results in the league and also had a decent FA Cup run in there too.
“However it was always going to be difficult having been transferred into a new league that we knew little about, but it has been an invaluable learning experience and hopefully everyone will stick with us and we will give it a real go next season.”
Rugby’s impending third place finish comes12 months on from a sixth place one in the Midland Football League Premier Division - their first season in this level of the non-league football pyramid for 34 years, following their relegation from the Northern Premier League at the end of the 2016/17 season.
Saturday’s fixture also provides Town with the opportunity of claiming an eighth double of the league campaign, following their 2-1 win over Harborough in the reverse fixture back in February.
A Charlie Evans double secured Rugby the points that day, after the visitors had taken an early lead.
The two sides had also met prior to this in the Preliminary Round of the League Cup, when a Danico Johnson hat-trick helped Valley cruise to a 4-1 victory at the Bowden Park ground.
# The club coach to Harborough will leave from outside Rugby School at 12.15pm and from Butlin Road at 12.30pm.
For latest information contact Tony Mann on 07970 691366.
A full list of the winners from the club’s awards event will appear in next wel ek’s edition.