POSITIVES can be taken from the enforced break in play caused by a second national lockdown, says Rugby Town director Neil Melvin.
Carl Adams’ Valley join innumerable sides in being affected by the four-week lay-off from competitive football, with a total of six games missed in the United Counties League Premier Division during the month of November.
With a trip to Peterborough Northern Star on Saturday, December 5 acting as the nearest possible return for Town – providing no further extension to current lockdown restrictions – Melvin believes that Rugby will be revitalised by the break.
“It has been a pretty hectic start to the campaign with fourteen games over the opening two months and this will give us a chance to recharge our batteries.
“And perhaps, too, allow the players to regroup and refresh things on the pitch too after a few disappointing results of late,” he said.
Indeed, Rugby had a mixed run of fortunes during October – failing to register two wins in succession and picking up three defeats in all – compared to just a couple of blips in the opening month of the campaign in September.
While Valley sit in a respectable position of sixth at present, there is an air that Town are having to play catch-up at present, trailing unbeaten leaders Anstey Nomads by six points having played a game more.
Their last outing, an FA Vase first round elimination by Dudley Sports that saw them lose 2-1 at Hillcrest Avenue, perhaps summed up Rugby’s recent form best – given the unconvincing nature of their play after throwing away an early lead.
There is no doubting that Rugby’s fortunes can be overturned in a matter of games, given the attacking quality in the side, with Dylan Parker enjoying a blistering start to the season with nine league goals and 12 strikes in all to his name so far this campaign.
That tally alone is enough to rank him joint-third in the league scoring charts, with notable contributions from Danico Johnson (5), Ryan Seal (4) and Liam Francis (4) elsewhere in the side propping Rugby up the overall scoring charts with 29 – also placing them joint-third.
Should Rugby return to action next month at the first time of asking, their four current fixtures scheduled could well play a key role in the direction their season goes, with a varied level of opponents ranging from rock-bottom Peterborough and mid-table Northampton ON Chenecks – to top-four sides Loughborough University and Shepshed Dynamo.