Rugby Town are ready for the new season

Rugby Town kick-off their fifth consecutive season in the United Counties League Premier Division on Saturday when Cogenhoe United are the visitors to Butlin Road.

Rugby Town boss Carl Adams leads his team into a new season this weekend. Picture by Martin Pulley
Rugby Town boss Carl Adams leads his team into a new season this weekend. Picture by Martin Pulley

Valley will be targeting an advancement on their third place finishes in both the 2018/19 and 2021/22 campaigns, with a similar ranking achieved in the ultimately combined two Covid-affected seasons in between, as they seek an overdue return to Step 4 of the non-League pyramid.

Monday's final pre-season friendly at home to Pershore Town was cancelled with Town boss Carl Adams deciding to protect his squad ahead of the term opener following a goalless draw at higher-ranked Bedworth United on Friday evening.

Adams explained: “We’d completed three tough fixtures within six days all against teams from a higher level than us and picked up a few niggles in key positions.

"So we thought it was best to protect the players ahead of the proper business at the weekend.

"I felt we were excellent in victory at Gresley, having equipped ourselves well against Redditch a few days earlier.

"It was a battling draw and another clean sheet at Bedworth, so hopefully we can now take the many positives from the warm-up schedule into the competitive games."

Adams has yet to decide on the fate of the three trialists that featured at Gresley and Bedworth.

Left-sided player Hayden Seymour was again on show at the Moat Ground while ex-Shepshed, Nuneaton, Stratford and Basford man Charlie Wakefield led the line for the first half at the Oval with winger Kaylum Mitchell featuring both times.

The home side had the better of the match last Friday with Rugby goalkeeper Ash Bodycote making three great stops and ex-Valley man Richard Blythe also hitting the crossbar ahead of the break.

The second half was a particularly uneventful affair, although Bodycote's rival for the number one shirt Matt Hill did atone for his own error with a decent save late on.

Adams will definitely be without the holidaying Charlie Evans for both Saturday and next Tuesday's trip to Coventry Sphinx, with injuries to fellow strikers Edwin Ahenkorah and Madundo Semahimbo also causing him concern ahead of the curtain-opener.