Stringer has no plans to strengthen squad

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Manager Dave Stringer’s options for Saturday’s Slough game have decreased due to full-back Craig Kelly’s continuing groin problem.

Stringer explained: “Craig is nowhere near ready I’m afraid. The injury is more deep rooted than we first thought, and it is possible we may not see him out there again this season.

“Fortunately Seb
Lake-Gaskin should be fit to return though – especially after the extra recovery time he has had after last weekend’s postponement.”

A waterlogged pitch put paid to Valley’s game at leaders Burnham last Saturday, and Town now sit in third place in the official Central Division table after Godalming’s victory at Aylesbury last Thursday.

However, Rugby’s points total does not yet include the three awarded to them by the Southern League from the recent abandoned game at Royston.

Stringer also confirmed that midfielder Richard Blythe may miss out at the weekend due to illness, but added he had no plans to bolster his squad this week.

He said: “I think we are going to go with what we have at the moment. It’s difficult to bring players at this point of the season, as they would want to start games and with the form the lads have been showing of late, that would be hard to guarantee.

“But there’s no doubting that the squad is very light in numbers at the moment for various reasons, and we will have to have another look at things before the transfer deadline at the end of the month.”

Rugby have already triumphed over both upcoming opponents this season.

Beaconsfield and Slough share the former’s Holloways Park ground, and Valley were 2-1 victors against SYCOB there in October, with a 3-2 win the following month against the Rebels – which started a nine match record-breaking Southern League winning streak.

Back-to-back successes against the tenant/landlord visitors in the coming week would see Rugby equal that total again in what has been an impressive campaign to-date from Stringer’s side – both collectively and individually.

Keeper Dave Bevan goes into Saturday’s game not having let a goal past him in just three minutes short of seven hours, and top scorer David Kolodynski’s recent brace at Woodford took his official tally for the season to 26.

As a result the home grown striker is now only one behind third place Robbie Beard in Valley’s all-time goalscoring chart, with club legend Ian Crawley a further strike ahead on 85 goals.

Defender Ed Booth has left Town to rejoin Sutton Coldfield. Booth signed for Town in November 2011, and put in a solid first season at the club.

However he has found opportunities limited in the 2012/13 campaign due to the good form of Mason Rowley and Alex Gudger.