Adams' delight as good start continues for Valley

Rugby Town boss Carl Adams was full of praise for his squad after their successful start to the 2022/23 season continued when they progressed into the next round of the FA Cup at the expense of Hereford-based Westfields.

Ryan Seal in action during Rugby Town's 2-2 draw at Westfields before he set up the winner in the FA Cup replay. Picture by Martin Pulley
Ryan Seal in action during Rugby Town's 2-2 draw at Westfields before he set up the winner in the FA Cup replay. Picture by Martin Pulley

It did take them two attempts to see off the Hellenic Premier outfit though, after the two sides played out a 2-2 draw in Saturday's original extra preliminary round tie before Valley's success in the Butlin Road replay on Tuesday evening – thanks to a solitary Liam Francis headed goal.

"It's most definitely been a tough opening for us with four games in 11 days, but I'm delighted how we've got through it,” Adams reflected.

"We started with six players in their 30s in the replay on the back of a long trip on Saturday and a gruelling game played in sweltering conditions.

“And, despite the fact that the players were dead on their feet come the end, we've dug in deep again and got the result we wanted and I think deserved."

One of those 30-plus players Francis secured a trip to Midland League Premier Studley in the next round on August 20 when he bundled home a Ryan Seal corner on 56 minutes.

That all came after an Edwin Ahenkorah strike and a superb Seal free-kick had given them a two-goal lead at the weekend before being pegged back by a spirited second-half recovery from the hosts.

Adams continued: "We'll be looking to regroup and re-energise ahead of this Saturday's league game with Bugbrooke, and it should help having younger legs like Charlie Evans and MJ (Semahimbo) back in contention again."

The Badgers make the relatively short trip to Butlin Road on the back of an FA Cup success of their own in the local derby against Long Buckby, having also won one of their two UCL Premier South fixtures to-date.

Town have accumulated maximum points from their opening pair of fixtures and Adams added: "There's a real togetherness amongst the players and that's what has helped us get through these early challenges.

"The fans have been great too. Hopefully we can give them even more to cheer about on Saturday and beyond."