THE MESSAGE from Rugby Town boss Carl Adams is very much clear – we must not stop going until the end of the season.
Valley have moved to the top of the pile in the United Counties League Premier Division after late strikes from Kurtis Revan and Danico Johnson guided their side to a 2-0 defeat of Harborough Town last weekend – a victory that proved Town’s third in succession.
Adams was complimentary of his side for enacting a turnaround in fortunes in recent weeks, an upturn in form that has given them a real chance of winning promotion this term.
“We’ve done incredibly well to drag ourselves up from where we were in seventh a couple or so back to be in this position now,” he said.
“But we know we have to keep up this form until the end of the season, as it’s so incredibly tight at the top.
“It’s always going to be difficult when you’re up against sides that have less to play for come this stage of the season. They make it tough for you to break them down, and then try and catch you out on the break, but we got there in the end [against Harborough] on Saturday.”
Going into the fixture at Butlin Road with the starting 11 unchanged for the third match in a row, the confidence of Rugby was evident from the start as they threatened straight away.
Johnson volleyed an early attempt wide, while Liam Francis’ header was cleared off the line as the hosts flexed their muscles.
Down the other end, Freddie Robinson failed to test Matt Hill with a weak effort from a promising position, while Daniel Forbes was also unable to draw a save with a header.
With the first half finishing goalless, hopes of a fast start to the second were unfounded.
A curling effort from James Hancocks flashed past the post, while Johnson was the first player to fire an attempt on goal with a well-struck effort that Farrell had to parry away.
Joel Konteh hit a rising strike that Hill had to deal with at the second attempt, as the two sides remained deadlocked.
That is until the 78th minute of play, when substitute Revan remained composed to slot home a side-footed finish from Seal’s set-up.
With Rugby banging on Harborough’s door in search of a second goal to seal the win, the hosts eventually found breathing space in the final minute of play.
It was Johnson who provided it, making a lung-busting run to the byline, followed by a skillful turn inside that opened up the angle for him to fire low into the corner.
The task at hand this Saturday is a trip to 11th-placed Wellingborough Town (3pm), kicking off a run of four successive away games for Rugby.
A midweek visit to Northamptonshire to play Rothwell Corinthians then follows on Tuesday night (7.45pm).