RUGBY TOWN: Two tough tests this week

Ellis Myles in Saturday's win
Ellis Myles in Saturday's win
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There is no let up for Rugby Town, as the first week of November sees them face two particularly testing Evostik Southern League fixtures on the back of a gruelling October in which they lined-up nine times.

Sixth place Burnham visit Butlin Road this Saturday for an early 12 mid-day kick-off, before Valley travel to perennial top of the table challengers Slough on Tuesday (6th November).

Despite their 2-1 weekend victory at North Greenford, Town actually slipped to ninth in the Central Division table over the past week – with Ashford’s midweek win at Woodford edging Dave Stringer’s side down a place.

Stringer was relieved to get back to winning ways in Middlesex.

He said: “After the home defeat against Northwood, it was pretty crucial we got straight back on-track again, and the lads put in a hardworking and disciplined display.

“We started like a house on fire and took the game to them from the off. We had two efforts cleared off the line and David (Kolodynski) missed a penalty, and I started to think it was going to be one of those days – certainly when they scored from a breakaway just before the break.

“I couldn’t give the boys a dressing-down at half-time as they had played so well and had dictated for long periods, but just couldn’t put the ball in the net.

“Fortunately we did finally equalise and then got the winner inside a six-minute spell.”

Stringer did add a note of caution though: “Whilst it was important to get the win, we really do need to learn to start punishing teams when we’re on top.”

Town’s full focus for the season can now be devoted towards their play-off push, after their 2-1 home defeat against Leamington on Tuesday evening saw them go out of their last cup competition.

Saturday’s visitors Burnham have started the 2012-13 in good form, and will be looking to improve on their 15th and 14th place finishes in the table in the previous two terms.

Town did the double over the Buckinghamshire club last time out, following up on a 2-0 away victory with an impressive 4-1 success at Butlin Road in January.

Slough are just a point and a place adrift of Rugby, and the Rebels have played two games less – mainly due to their success in the F.A.Cup, which has seen them qualify for the first round proper of the competition where they face Conference Premier side Mansfield this weekend.

The Rebels have reached the play-off stage of the Central (or Midland) Division in each of the last three seasons, twice losing out in the semi-finals and once in the promotion decider.

Valley’s victory at North Greenford mean it is now five wins in seven in the league, and Stringer will be looking to his in-form strike duo of David Kolodynski and Seb Lake-Gaskin to maintain their scoring exploits.

Kolodynski’s consolation goal against his old club Leamington on Tuesday was his sixth in seven starts since his return to Rugby, and he is hot on the heels of Lake-Gaskin – who took his season total to seven with the winner last Saturday.

If Slough draw their FA Cup game at Mansfield, the replay would replace the scheduled Tuesday evening game against Rugby. Assuming that this is not the case, the coach to Holloways Park will leave the clubhouse at 5 p.m. For latest information, contact Tony Mann on 07970 691366

Town have rearranged their home game against Thatcham for Tuesday 20th November.