BY JON VENNER - PICTURES BY MARTIN PULLEY
Rugby Town retained their third place UCL Premier South berth with their second win of the week at home to Godmanchester last Saturday, writes Jon Venner.
Valley followed up on their impressive success at Newport Pagnell four days earlier with a relatively comfortable 3-0 victory over their mid-table opponents at a sunny Butlin Road thanks to strikes from David Kolodynski, Edwin Ahenkorah and Alex Lock.
The visitors had been unlucky to find themselves two goals down at the interval after having struck Ash Bodycote's goal frame on three separate occasions in an evenly contested first half.
Kolodynski's excellent first time volley to a Luke English long throw on nine minutes and Ahenkorah's close range finish just before the break gave the hosts the half-time lead, with Lock coming off the bench to round things off with a sweet curling shot past Jamie Greygoose towards the end of the game.
Speaking after the Godmanchester win, Town boss Carl Adams reflected on the quickfire six point haul: "We put in probably our best performance for a couple of months at Newport Pagnell and then we were very clinical today and took our opportunities when they came along.
"With a number of players out, we had to put together a makeshift back-line but it was good to see Luke (English) come through nearly an hour on his return from injury."
Adams was without four defenders at the weekend, with his options restricted by the absence of the unavailable Jamal Clarke and Liam Francis alongside the injured Keenah Rosser and Loyiso Recci.
Clarke and Francis should be back with the squad for the visit to Butlin Road of strugglers Biggleswade United this weekend, with Recci also close to featuring again following his return to training after suffering a broken bone in his foot at the start of February.
Despite a horrendous start to the season, Saturday's visitors still have a great chance of escaping relegation from the division.
Under the chairmanship of well-known football broadcaster Guillem Balague, Biggleswade opened up their 2021/22 competitive campaign with eighteen straight losses - including conceding seven goals or more in all of their first six outings.
However their form has gradually improved as the term progressed, with seventeen points now accumulated and generally margins of any defeat have been much reduced.
The upturn has meant they have lifted themselves three points ahead of the other contenders for the drop Chenecks, although the Northampton club are making a fight of things too after inflicting a rare defeat on the high-flying Hinckley last Saturday.
# Max Johnson has left the club and returned to Valley's divisional counterparts Long Buckby, as Adams continues to plan ahead for the next campaign.
Rugby-born Johnson started 24 games after making the switch from the Bucks at the start of the season, but with Adams looking for players to sign contracts until the end of 2022/23 campaign, the midfielder has decided to try his luck elsewhere.
TOWN 2022 ACADEMY REGISTRATION OPEN
The Rugby Town FC Academy is inviting registrations from interested parties for its September 2022 intake at Butlin Road.
The club's academy was founded in 2018 to provide a football-focused full-time education programme for 16 to 18 year olds - leading to a BTEC qualification and the potential opportunity of a pathway into senior football.
Three of the academy's graduates - Caine Elliott, Josh Thomas and Madundo Semahimbo - formed part of Valley's first team starting eleven in the weekend victory over Godmanchester, alongside three other players that had featured in Town's Youth Team in previous years.
For further information, visit the club's website at www.rugbytownfc.com/academy.htm