Rugby Town host Eynesbury Rovers in the UCL Premier South this weekend, having eased up a further place to seventh in the division following their comfortable win at Northampton Chenecks last Saturday, writes Jon Venner.
Whilst there is still plenty of work for Carl Adams’s men to do to bridge the gap that has built up between them and the top ranked teams over the opening two months of the league campaign, Valley started a run of games that Adams had described in advance as “winnable” with an assured performance and a five-goal return at the hosts’ Billing Road facility.
For the second game running, Town breezed to a two- goal lead within the opening ten minutes - this time thanks to neat finishes from Dylan Parker and Edwin Ahenkorah.
A Justin Marsden strike just past the half hour mark extended their advantage, although Stan Channell pegged one back for Chenecks before the interval.
After the restart, Parker’s second and a late goal from sub David Kolodynski firmed up an eventual 5-2 victory though, with Northampton also rewarded once more for their gallant efforts with Tyrell Bernard scoring in between the two Rugby second- half strikes.
Valley then sat out the midweek schedule, which saw Hinckley LR maintain their 100% start to the season to cut the deficit between them and current league leaders Harborough to just one point, whilst Lutterworth cemented their third place spot with a single goal home win over another of the possible promotion contenders Coventry United.
Adams goes into this Saturday’s Butlin Road encounter with a growing list of injuries, with his defensive options particularly badly hit after skipper Loyiso Recci failed to emerge for the second half of the Northampton encounter.
Full-back Keenah Rosser had limped off during the first half of the Coventry Sphinx victory earlier in the week, with centre-half Liam Francis suffering the same fate two weeks before at Hinckley.
Adams said: “We know that we haven’t achieved what we set out to do so far this season and I take full responsibility for that, but we haven’t had the best of fortunes either on the injury and illness front.
“Our pre-season preparations were hit by Covid and we’ve had to chop and change things far too much for my liking since we started for real, which has made it difficult to achieve any level of continuity.”
Saturday’s opponents Eynesbury sit three points and three places below Town in the table. Rovers’ last visit to Town saw them snatch a late 4-3 win in a topsy-turvy encounter in March 2019, although Town had triumphed 1-0 in the reverse fixture earlier that season. The two clubs had previously met a further six times between 1973 and 1975 - also in the United Counties League structure.