AFTER leaping into the top half of the Evostik NPL South Division for the first time this season following their comfortable victory at home to Loughborough, Rugby Town will be looking to secure their fifth win in six matches when they travel to Gresley this weekend.
Saturday’s 4-1 victory stretched Valley’s unbeaten run to five matches and moved Dale Belford’s side up four places in the table into previously unexperienced heady territory.
This latest success was achieved without current star performer Kevin Thornton, but the in-form Irishman is expected to return to the fold this Saturday as Rugby look to maintain the upward momentum that has seen them surge from the relegation zone to genuine play-off contenders within just a couple of months.
Belford’s rejigged back-line was again relatively untroubled against Dynamo, with the new central defensive pairing Tom Ryan and Chris Tullin forming a solid protection in-front of keeper Sam Andrew.
However the rise has mainly come on the back of a goal spree for Belford’s side, which has seen them notch 20 times in their last eight league outings – doubling their total for the season in the process.
Only five teams in the division have scored more than Valley with David Kolodynski’s penalty brace against Loughborough lifting him up to joint third in the scoring charts.
Saturday’s opponents Gresley go into the game on the back of a fine 3-2 win at Stocksbridge on Tuesday evening, a victory which saw them move up a place to 17th.
Town recorded their only league victory under previous boss Gary Mills in the reverse fixture at Butlin Road earlier in the campaign, with goals from Tom Liversedge and Sam Warburton helping to secure a 2-1 win.
And Valley’s last visit to the Moat Ground came more than 12 years ago when Danny Hall, Neil Melvin and Jamie Williams were on target in a 3-2 success.
With Thornton likely restored to the starting line-up, either Kurtis Revan or Jake Healy look set to miss out, with Callum Powell likely to return to a wide role again.