Derby day at Daventry tomorrow (Saturday)
With just two games of their league campaign remaining, Rugby Town still retain control of their own destiny, despite the disappointment of last weekend’s 1-0 reverse at relegated Hayes.
Barton’s home defeat to Kettering ensured Valley held onto a play-off berth, although they did slip a place to fifth after Bedworth’s victory against Potters Bar.
Town boss Dave Stringer reflected: “The only positive from last Saturday is that things are still in our own hands. We know what we have to do from here, and hopefully the experience that we have built-up over the last couple of years will help us get over the line.”
Rugby’s run in sees them travel to Daventry on Saturday, before hosting 2nd place Royston a week later, whilst Barton face games at Hanwell and Aylesbury United - with Bedworth also seeing out their campaign exclusively on the road with trips to Kettering, Northwood and Egham.
Valley currently enjoy a one point advantage on Barton, but are two points adrift of local rivals Greenbacks - with Royston now guaranteed a place in the play-offs and Aylesbury FC just a point short of the same achievement.
Stringer continued: “We know we’ve got to deal with a couple of tough games if we are going to make it into the play-offs.
“Local derbies are never easy and our record at Daventry in recent years has been poor, and then we finish by facing the in-form side in the division in Royston.”
Town have lost all four of their games at Communications Park since Daventry’s promotion to the Southern League, with the last two of these seeing them go down by 5-0 and 4-1 margins.
However the Northamptonshire club have had a rocky 2014/15 campaign, and are currently sitting in 19th in the Central Division table, with just three wins from their seventeen league games in this calendar year.
Daventry did come out on top in the reverse fixture back in September though - thanks to a penalty from one time Valley youth team player Tom Berwick, although Saturday’s hosts are now a much different proposition after a large cut to the playing budget and the departure of successful manager Darren Foster a month or so on from their 1-0 Butlin Road success.
Stringer may recall Alex Gudger to his starting line-up, after the defender made a return to action from the bench at Hayes following a month long spell out with an ankle injury.
# There is no club coach running to Daventry tomorrow.