RUGBY TOWN: Valley break 30-year club record

Seb Lake-Gaskin against Daventry
Seb Lake-Gaskin against Daventry

Rugby Town’s 2-0 New Year’s Day success over local rivals Daventry saw them break a 30-season club record for consecutive victories within the Southern League structure.

Valley joined the league for the start of the 1983/84 season following on from their FA Vase triumph against Halesowen at Wembley towards the end of the previous campaign, and they have been a permanent fixture there ever since.

Second half strikes from substitutes Sam Youngs and Lewis McBride gave Town their ninth win in a row stretching back to the 6th of November - when a last gasp goal at Holloways Park gave them a 3-2 victory against Slough.

After the frustration of three successive postponements over the holiday period, Dave Stringer’s side finally got the chance to surpass the exploits of the two Rugby teams from the 1980’s who had achieved an eight match perfect run.

Both of those two runs came under the stewardship of non-league footballing legend Jimmy Knox – who sadly died on Christmas Eve aged 77. It was therefore a fitting tribute that the club honoured its ex-manager both with a minute’s silence before the Daventry game and also with a minute’s applause in the fifth minute - to recognise the number five shirt that Knox was synonymous with as a player.

The club’s two previous eight consecutive victories were achieved under their previous VS Rugby identity. The first of these coincided with their inaugural season in the Southern League Midland Division between February and March 1984, and the second came in the January and February of their championship winning season in the same division in the 1986/87 campaign.

Rugby Town Director Mike Yeats was delighted with the latest success and the record breaking achievement, which has helped the club move back up the table into the Evostik League Southern – Division One Central promotion mix.

He said: “We’re on a great run at the moment and the team is playing some great, entertaining football too.

“Nine match winning streaks are rare at any level of football, and to achieve it in what appears to be a very competitive division this season makes it even more commendable. So well done to Dave (Stringer) and the lads, and long may the run continue of course.”

Town’s current winning series is still four games short of the overall club record though, as in 1970/71 Valley completed 13 straight victories in the United Counties League Division Three.