FOOTBALL - Valley achieve automatic promotion - The Rugby Observer

FOOTBALL - Valley achieve automatic promotion

Rugby Editorial 2nd May, 2023 Updated: 2nd May, 2023   0

RUGBY Town have achieved automatic promotion after Valley finished the season as one of the three best runners-up across the country at step five.

Valley had been preparing for an inter-step promotion play-off, having finished as runners-up to Coventry Sphinx in the United Counties League Premier Division South.

However, after three clubs were demoted from the step above due to ground grading failures, Valley received the news that they had been automatically promoted.

Rugby finished as the third best runners-up across the 16 step five divisions after North Shields Skelmersdale United and Lymington Town were all demoted from their respective divisions.

That meant three of the inter-step play-offs did not need to take place with Carlton Town, Widnes and Bideford reprieved from relegation whilst three other sides, along with Rugby, were promoted.

And Valley’s final day win at Milton Keynes Irish proved all the more crucial as the points gained saw them pip Hellenic League side Malvern Town to promotion on points per game.




Carl Adams’ side return to step four for the first time since the 2016/17 season when Rugby were relegated from the Northern Premier League Division One South.

Rugby enjoyed a fine season and were unbeaten on their travels with 14 wins and three draws from their 17 matches away from Butlin Road.


A three-game winless run in March ultimately cost Valley the title as Sphinx eventually overhauled Rugby’s big lead at the top of the table.

However, Rugby responded to win four of their last five matches and seal automatic promotion as Michael Taylor’s goal in the win at MK Irish proved decisive.

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