RUGBY TOWN: Time to kick-start season after Vase exit

A minute's applause in tribute to young Rio Levi Chambers who died at the weekend
A minute's applause in tribute to young Rio Levi Chambers who died at the weekend

Haughmond trip on Saturday, Shawbury at home on Tuesday

Following their exit from the FA Vase on Tuesday evening, Rugby Town return to league action this weekend with a trip to Haughmond.

Valley’s season is now in need of a rapid resurrection after their Vase hopes were extinguished in the midweek replay when - despite their lower level status - the tie victors Wolverhampton Sporting deservedly earnt a home tie against Shepshed in the third round proper of the competition.

Town have also slipped a further place in the MFL Premier Division to 14th over the past week, and must be targeting maximum points from the Haughmond trip and the home game against Shawbury next Tuesday (21st) evening in the hope that it kick starts their campaign after a particularly disappointing past month or so.

Having enjoyed a near perfect September with seven wins and a draw in eight matches, Rugby have since struggled in their subsequent eight outings – enjoying only further two victories, both of which came in knockout games.

With a just a point from four league fixtures in that time, they have slid down eight places in the table and the prospect of promotion back to step four of the non-league pyramid at the first attempt is now a distinctly distant hope.

Valley’s return of just 19 goals in 14 league games has clearly been their Achilles heel, with their last league match – a home defeat to struggling Rocester – a typical example of Town’s failure to convert dominance into a three point return.

Both of their upcoming opponents also sit below Rugby in the table, with 17th placed Haughmond also in the middle of a bad run of just one win in nine games and Shawbury currently bottom of the division with just seven points on the board.

Saturday’s hosts will be looking to complete the double over Town though, after they returned back to Shropshire with the win at the end of August thanks to a solitary 40th minute goal by Joe Parry.

# Saturday’s coach to the Shrewsbury-based club will leave Butlin Road at 11.30am. For latest information contact Tony Mann on 07970 691366

# At Tuesday evening’s Vase replay, players from both teams led the crowd in a minute’s applause in tribute to Rio Levi Chambers – the young son of Town’s Reece Chambers – who tragically died at the weekend.

The ex-Willenhall Town man joined Valley at the start of the season, but injury has restricted him to just one unused substitute appearance to-date. The family attended Tuesday’s game and the club send their deepest condolences to them at this difficult time.