RUGBY TOWN: Trip to Harborough as Valley left to concentrate on league
Carl Adams' side now out of all this season's cup competitions
Having suffered a second knockout cup defeat within a week in the FA Vase at Newark on Saturday, Rugby Town’s season will now fully revolve around their exploits in the United Counties League Premier Division.
The 3-0 Vase reverse followed on the back of their 2-0 League Cup exit at the hands of Leicester Nirvana, and attentions now return to the club’s attempt to return to step four of the non-league pyramid at the third time of asking.
Having completed their longest away trek of the league campaign last time out to Boston, Valley make the relatively short trip to Harborough this weekend, and Carl Adams’s men will be looking for a similar result to their last league outing which saw them return from Lincolnshire with a 3-0 victory.
Adams said: “Before these cup setbacks, our form and confidence had been improving, so hopefully we can pick this up again now our focus is fully on the league.
“We have a run of five games against teams currently below us in the table, and whilst there is no room for any complacency, we know that this is potentially our opportunity to make up ground on the teams above us.”
Saturday’s hosts Harborough sit just a point - and two places - below Rugby, whilst subsequent fixtures see Adams’s side face three back-to-back home games against bottom half of the table clubs Northampton ON Chenecks, Sleaford and Desborough, before a trip to another in Rothwell at the end of November.
Town were without the cup-tied Dylan Parker and Ben Bradshaw and the unavailable Jazz Luckie and Jamal Clarke at Newark on Saturday, meaning Adams was only able to name three substitutes - two of whom (Lewis Padmore and Caine Elliott) had played the night before in the club’s cruel FA Youth Cup exit at EFL club Grimsby.
Rugby ended their 2018/19 campaign with a disappointing 3-0 defeat on the 3G pitch at Harborough’s Northampton Road community stadium, although they were successful there earlier that season when a Danico Johnson hat-trick helped inspire them to a 4-1 League Cup win.