RUGBY TOWN: Town to appeal Belcher’s red card ahead of Uni trip

Sam Lockley
Sam Lockley
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League game against Loughborough University on Saturday

Rugby Town travel to Loughborough University this weekend, after a return of one win, one draw and one defeat from their busy festive schedule.

Niall Cooper under pressure against Highgate on Saturday

Niall Cooper under pressure against Highgate on Saturday

The draw came last Saturday against Highgate at Butlin Road, when the visitors clawed back a two-goal deficit following the sending off of Valley’s Sam Belcher.

Town are appealing against the dismissal of the midfielder after it emerged that video footage of the 51st minute incident existed courtesy of a spectator in close proximity, and they are hoping that its content persuades the Midland Football League to reverse the decision and spare Belcher a three-match ban for violent conduct.

The necessary paperwork has to be submitted to the league by today (Thursday) and the club will then await the findings of the appeal – with the assumption that any suspension handed down to him will be put on hold pending the conclusion of the process.

Valley will definitely be without Belcher’s fellow midfielder Ben Ashby in Leicestershire on Saturday though, after he picked up a third yellow card in three matches to take his season tally to ten – earning him a two-game absence.

The single point gained against Highgate saw Rugby remain in tenth in the MFL Premier Division – four places (and eight points) ahead of their hosts on Saturday.

The University side started the 2017/18 campaign slowly, but had been enjoying some upward momentum in the table until a recent run of four straight league defeats – culminating in their 3-2 reverse at Boldmere last Saturday.

On the other hand, Town’s Boxing Day 3-1 defeat at Shepshed is their only loss in seven MFL outings, and came three days after a comfortable 4-1 success at Wulfrunians.

Striker David Kolodynski’s four goals over Christmas has seen him nudge back in front of Ruben Wiggins-Thomas in the Valley scoring chart for the season, with Kolodynski now on 16 in all competitions and Wiggins-Thomas one behind that total.

However with the potential arrival of Mitch Piggon at Butlin Road for a fourth spell at the club on a dual registration basis from his new team Barwell and the emergence of young forward Sam Lockley as a genuine attacking option in recent weeks, Valley boss Dave Stringer will be hoping that the increased competition spurs his current first choice strike pairing even further.

# The club coach to Loughborough will leave Butlin Road at 12.15pm. For further information, contact Tony Mann on 07970 691366