Town come out of tough week against top two still in good shap
Rugby Town came out of their tough week of fixtures with a win and a loss against two of the main automatic promotion candidates in the Evostik NPL South Division.
Having been unlucky to slip to a single goal defeat at home to leaders Stafford last Saturday, Valley deservedly saw off Coalville - who had gone into the game in second place - on Tuesday evening at Butlin Road.
The Coalville victory came courtesy of two excellent goals from midfielders Rob Parker and Jonathan Thorpe to lift Town up into ninth place within a congested middle third of the table.
Rugby play host again this weekend when Goole are the visitors, before embarking upon a run of four consecutive away games at Spalding, Gresley, Shaw Lane and Romulus.
Town will be searching for their second double of the campaign on the back of a 4-3 victory in East Yorkshire in November when a Kevin Thornton brace from the spot helped them on their way.
Current Valley keeper Sam Andrew featured in goal for the hosts that day after entering the game just before half-time as a substitute, before then signing for Town a few days later.
Andrew recorded his fourth clean sheet for the club in thirteen appearances in Tuesday’s Coalville victory, behind a defence that included Dale Belford’s latest addition to the squad defender Nathaniel Kelly.
The ex-Birmingham City youth prospect was drafted in following the head injury sustained by Tom Ryan against Stafford, and the now-dual registered Solihull Moors player made a confident debut alongside Chris Tullin.
Another new recruit to the club over the past week - albeit a familiar one too - is striker Mitchell Piggon.
Piggon has returned for a third spell at Butlin Road from fellow NPL South side Daventry, and having made his debut from the bench at the weekend, he then started up-front in place of David Kolodynski for the midweek success against another of his previous clubs.
Belford explained the rationale behind Piggon’s signing: “I just felt we needed something different within the squad to help boost us for the busy run-in ahead.
“We’ve got a number of attacking players with good technique and pace, but Mitchell offers us a more physical option too now, and I think he has shown us what he can bring to the party already in the two games he has played in.”
Piggon’s first spell at the club came during the 2013/14 season, when he was mainly used as an impact substitute, before returning again the following year when again he failed to hold down a regular place in the starting line-up.
He signed for Coventry Sphinx in the summer, before making the move to Communications Park mid-way through the season.
Belford will once more be without Sean Wilkins for the Goole game at the weekend, after the midfielder joined Ryan in the treatment room upon suffering an ankle injury against the league leaders.