Rugby Town easing into the New Year in great shape ahead of Coventry Sphinx trip
Valley earn another three points with 3-0 success over Easington Sports on Tuesday
WORDS BY JON VENNER: PICTURES BY MARTIN PULLEY
Rugby Town go into 2022 in fine fettle after securing their latest three-point haul from the 3-0 win over Easington Sports at Butlin Road on Tuesday afternoon.
It meant that Valley ended the old calendar year in excellent form, with the November home defeat to Long Buckby the only blip in the 12 league fixtures completed in its final three months.
With three other successes in the FA Vase within that period too, Town still have plenty to play for before the season’s end - and this starts with the short trip to Coventry Sphinx on Bank Holiday Monday (January 3).
Rugby’s victory over Easington was a relatively straightforward affair, although they did have to wait until the final couple of minutes of the first half for their opening goal.
It came when the returning Justin Marsden smashed home from a tight angle after David Kolodynski had done well to set him up.
The visitors rarely troubled Carl Adams’s side throughout, and once Madundo Semahimbo had doubled the hosts’ advantage on 66 minutes with a neck-twisting header, the result was never in doubt.
Substitute Adam Shaw rounded off the win with a superb lofted volley finish to Josh Thomas’s through ball to consolidate Town’s fifth place in the UCL Premier South table, on a day when only three of their division’s scheduled games survived both the recent wet weather and impact of Covid.
Rugby will visit a Sphinx side whose form has dipped a little of late, although they did join Town in the final 32 of the Vase with their third round home victory over Coventry United three weeks ago.
Their city rivals gained immediate revenge over Sphinx on Tuesday though with a 2-1 win.
That kept United one place ahead of Valley on goal difference from the same games played, with Hinckley, Harborough and Newport Pagnell still occupying the top three spots.
Adams should have Max Johnson back in the fold for Monday’s game after the in-form midfielder sat out the Easington game having totted up five league bookings, although Alex Lock will again miss out as he serves the second of his three match ban for his red card at Lutterworth.
Town are back at Butlin Road a week Saturday (January 8) when they play to host to current runaway league leaders Hinckley in the first of six home games within six weeks for the club, with the only deviation from the nest seeing them travel to Cogenhoe on January 22.