Rugby Town will be looking to reach the Third Round Proper of the FA Vase for the first time since their reintroduction back into the competition in 2017.
Valley - who famously lifted this prestigious trophy back in 1983 - face one of the toughest of tests possible this Saturday at Butlin Road though, when they host the current runaway leaders of their own UCL Premier South Division Hinckley LR.
Town warmed up for the big clash with an eventful 4-2 home league win over Desborough at the weekend, where a late David Kolodynski double finally secured them the points against ten-man opposition.
Rugby boss Carl Adams reflected on his side’s latest win: “We dominated the majority of the game and missed a number of good chances.
“We had to show some patience, but we got there in the end - which hopefully sets us up nicely for the big match on Saturday,” he said.
Luke English had given Town a quickfire lead with a delightfully curled finish from the edge of the area, but the visitors then turned the game on its head with two goals past newly signed home keeper Matty White within the opening 20 minutes from Aaron Davis and Barnes Gladman.
White’s counterpart Chris Jones was then sent off on 37 minutes, with James Hancocks grabbing his first of the season to level up affairs just ahead of the interval.
Valley struggled to fully test Jones’s stand-in Davis after the restart though, but Kolodynski finally came up trumps with strikes on 88 and 92 minutes to secure his team’s seventh win in eight outings.
This latest victory kept Adams’s men in seventh place in the table, although two of the clubs above them - Coventry United and Wellingborough - did both drop points at the weekend.
Adams continued: “We’ve had a decent run of late, but it’s been frustrating that the others at the top have been in great form too.
“We can’t afford to be negative though and at least there were a couple of slip-ups elsewhere on Saturday.
“All we can do is to continue to keep winning games and take points off teams around us when we play them.”
Keeper White joins the club after having been first choice number one for Shepshed over the past couple of seasons, with another new signing set to arrive this week in the shape of winger Adam Shaw from Long Buckby.
However Shaw is cup-tied for this weekend’s clash - as is midfielder Alex Locke, but Adams will have Dylan Parker back in the fold after the striker missed the Desborough fixture through suspension.
Saturday’s visitors Hinckley extended their amazing and perfect start to the UCL campaign with an 18th success on the trot at Peterborough Northern Star.
They did have to rely on a last minute penalty for their 1-0 victory against a side that Rugby had comfortably dispatched by a much more comfortable 6-0 margin seven days previously.
Adams is going into the Vase clash with a level of confidence though, despite being one of the London Road-based club’s 18 straight victims back in September.
He explained: “From what we saw earlier in the season, we feel that they are beatable.
“Their record speaks for itself of course and they were very clinical on the night, but I thought we gave a good account of ourselves despite the (3-1) defeat.
“We certainly don’t fear them and we have been scoring plenty of goals recently, so hopefully we can be in the draw come Monday.”
Rugby Town’s latest four-goal return means it is 28 in the last eight games for them, with Kolodynski’s brace making it 15 in 17 starts as the 32 year-old continues to extend his all-time club scoring record in his fifth spell at Butlin Road.