PICTURES BY MARTIN PULLEY
There were mixed fortunes for Rugby Town this week, after they followed up on Saturday's thumping 8-2 FA Vase victory at Coventry Copsewood by dropping further league points in a 2-2 home draw against Cogenhoe on Tuesday evening, writes Jon Venner.
Just a few days on from the 65th anniversary of the club's first ever competitive fixture against Dunchurch Lodge, the current Valley side did manage to outscore their 7-0 winning counterparts from 1956 and earn themselves a home tie against AFC Wulfrunians in the next round of the Vase competition on September 25th in the process.
A first half hat-trick from Caine Elliott had set Valley on their way, with David Kolodynski matching that achievement after the interval, whilst Dylan Parker scored one in each half to complete the scorers.
Town did suffer a mini-wobble though, after the hosts scored twice shortly after the restart, but in the end they had too much quality for the youthful Coventry side at a sunny Allard Way complex.
Hopes that Town's weekend form would continue into their league campaign looked set to be on a firm footing when Parker gave them an early lead against Cogenhoe, but Valley were unable to kick-on and add to their tally ahead of the interval.
They were made to pay for this, when ex-Rugby defender Rico Alexander equalised and then Dylan Wilson put them in front on 63 and 76 minutes respectively, before Academy graduate Josh Thomas grabbed his first goal for the senior team deep into added-on time to rescue a point for Town.
Their result on Tuesday saw Rugby drop down to 8th place in a UCL Premier South table still headed by Harborough, after the Leicestershire club continued their perfect nine game start to the season with two further wins over the past week.
Two other clubs - Hinckley LRFC and Newport Pagnell - also boast a 100% record after the latest round of fixtures, although both have only played five times. Valley travel to the former's Leicester Road stadium next Tuesday in arguably their toughest test of the campaign so far, but before that they must navigate their way through the visit of Potton to Butlin Road this Saturday.
Rugby manager Carl Adams had previously vowed to try and identify the best combination of players from his existing squad and then minimise the chopping and changing of his starting line-up as much as possible, and he was true to his word in naming the same eleven for both the Coventry and Copsewood outings.
However he also confirmed that he is actively looking to bring in new recruits to help keep the season on-track.
Adams reflected: "We have put in seven days for a number of players now, where we think they would strengthen what we have here.
"However it's not the easiest time of the season to attract the kind of quality that we need, as the lads that may not be getting their game at a higher level elsewhere are potentially still believing they can make the breakthrough there."