21st Jan, 2020

Rugby shake off rust with mid-week victory, ahead of visit of Wellingborough

Ben Tyler 6th Feb, 2019

RUGBY Town prepare for this weekend’s home match against Wellingborough Town vying to get back into second place, after they slipped into third having been out of action last weekend.

Valley were joined by the majority of the United Counties League in having to sit out last weekend, when a frozen pitch at Rothwell Corinthians denied them from any football being played.

Rivals Deeping Rangers, who continued their strong run of form with a 2-1 success over Sleaford on Tuesday night, leapfrogged Town into second, cutting their lead to leaders Daventry Town to seven points.

It adds further pressure to Rugby’s set of fixtures rounding off the season, with only one promotion place likely to be made available by the conclusion of the season.

Town do however, hold a game in hand over the leaders, currently sitting ten points behind.

Daventry and Deeping meet each other twice, whilst Deeping and Rugby meet at the end of this month, before Carl Adams’ side head to the table toppers on Easter Monday.

It is therefore, still far from settled in terms of calling the final standings for the current top three, as the race for promotion begins to heat up considerably.

A practice game at MFL Premier Division side Highgate proved a solid test and allowed Rugby to maintain their match fitness, winning 2-1 after goals for Charlie Evans and Rankin at the Coppice ground.

Adams described the game as a “good exercise” and was impressed with the football that his side played, maintaining their usual standards despite the last-minute friendly.

Wellingborough head to Butlin Road on Saturday in dour form, having failed to win any of their last four outings, and only winning eight of their 24 league matches so far.

Sitting 12th in the table, they narrowly lost out 2-1 to Adams’ Rugby side before Christmas at the Dog and Duck Stadium, when Lewis Rankin fired a brace for Valley.

That fixture incidentally marked the end of a 31-year wait for the two sides to play each other, having last met in the Southern League in the 1980s.

A last trip to Butlin Road for the Doughboys saw them lose out 3-1 to a Les Ebrey double and an Ian Crawley strike in a league cup tie, with Town fans hoping for a similar scoreline this weekend.

A full squad is available to Adams on Saturday, beginning the first of two consecutive fixtures at home, 14th placed Harborough set to visit a week on Saturday (16th).

Meanwhile, Daventry visit Cogenhoe in seventh, and Deeping away to eighth placed Oadby this weekend, with potential banana skins lying in wait.

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