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25th Jun, 2022

FOOTBALL - Valley prepare for final home game of the season

RUGBY Town host relegation-threatened Northampton Chenecks in their final home outing of the season this weekend.

Valley’s run of four straight victories came to an end last weekend after they were held to a 2-2 home draw with Wellingborough Town.

Town twice come from behind to head into the break on level terms with Jack O’Connor’s own goal cancelling out the visitors’ fifth minute opener from Tom Iaciofano.

James Hancocks’ penalty drew Rugby level for a second time ater Matt Long had scored an instinctive effort from distance to restore Wellingborough’s lead.

The second half was a much less eventful affair aside from the dismissal of Rugby full-back Harry Eden just past the hour mark.

Valley boss Carl Adams said: “Without the sending off, I was confident that we would have gone on to win the game.

“After the red card, it became more a matter of making sure we didn’t lose, although I thought even with 10-men we were the better side.”

Town’s best chance of snatching a winner came when the lively Adam Shaw and Madundo Semahimbo were both denied by Wellingborough blocks in quick succession.

The draw maintains Rugby’s four point cushion over Coventry Sphinx after they could only manage a draw at Eynesbury.

And Newport Pagnell’s midweek defeat at Oadby further boosted Valley’s chances of another third place finish – having also taken third in the 2018/19 season and again in the curtailed 2019/20 campaign.

Saturday’s visitors Chenecks currently occupy the drop zone, three points behind their rivals for relegation Biggleswade – who Rugby comfortably saw off by a 5-0 margin at the end of March.

Eden will not feature again for Town as a result of his three match ban for the Wellingborough dismissal, with Adams likely to either shift Hancocks back into a defensive role to cover for his absence or reintroduce skipper Loyiso Recci following his long lay-off through injury.

Adams added: “I had been hoping to give Loyiso some minutes on Saturday, but didn’t want to risk it once we had been reduced to 10.”

Rugby are next in action at home to Northants ON Chenecks on Saturday, April 16 with kick-off at 3pm at Butlin Road.

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