Approaches keep coming for leading goal-scorer after fourth hat-trick of season
PICTURES BY MARTIN PULLEY
Rugby Town make the relatively short trip across the Leicestershire border to take on Kirby Muxloe this Saturday looking to end a run of three away games without a win.
Last weekend's 4-1 home success over Wellingborough Whitworth meant Town pulled themselves back up to the third place in a UCL Premier Division table still headed by Daventry - whose excellent start to the campaign continued with a 2-1 win at Oadby.
The gap between the two local rivals is therefore still six points, but Valley do have a game in hand over them - with the sides set to meet at Butlin Road on Boxing Day.
Currently sandwiched in between Rugby and Daventry in second are Pinchbeck - a point ahead of Carl Adams' team, and Town are scheduled to visit the Lincolnshire village club in a fortnight's time.
The Whitworth victory came as a result of an improved second half performance, which saw Town kick on from the 1-1 half time state of parity to score three quickfire goals.
Valley's leading scorer Danico Johnson grabbed himself his fourth hat-trick of the season in the process, and the striker who signed for Adams in the summer continues to attract attention of clubs higher up the non-league pyramid.
NPL Premier Division Hednesford are the latest club believed to have put in an official approach for the player who has scored ten goals in his nine league outings for Town - with an overall total of sixteen in sixteen competitive games.
Up until now, Johnson has decided to stay put, with Adams successfully promoting the potential benefits a period of stability to a player whose career previously had seen him move around regularly on the Midlands football scene.
Another Rugby man in a rich vein of scoring form is Lewis Rankin, with the one-time Coventry City academy prospect on target for a fifth league game on the trot against Wellingborough on Saturday.
Within that impressive run, Rankin has scored late goals to earn a draw and a win in Town's last two away league fixtures, and Adams will be hoping that it is less heavy going on the road this weekend than in recent weeks - with cup defeats at Boldmere and Redditch featuring alongside the dropping of valuable points in the league at Desborough.
Saturday's hosts were promoted up into this level of the pyramid in 2009, before subsequently being transferred into the UCL structure in 2015.
They finished in 12th place in this division at the end of the 2017/18 term and currently sit in 14th following their 3-1 home victory over Boston last time out.
In addition to long term leg-break absentee Lee Thomas, Adams will continue to be without the injured Richard Bunting and the unavailable Romario Martin - who is away on St.Kitts & Nevis U-20 international duty.
The Valley boss is continuing his search to bolster his squad with a number of seven day approaches of his own, so there may be a new face or two on show for Town at Ratby Lane on Saturday.
# Saturday's game at Kirby Muxloe will kick-off an hour earlier than usual at 2.00 p.m. Also the club coach will leave from two different pick-up points due to the firework display on Whinfield Rec, with a 11.10 a.m. departure from the gates of Rugby School and a 11.30 a.m. one from the bottom of Great Central Way.