PICTURES BY MARTIN PULLEY
Rugby Town’s attentions turn back to the FA Cup this weekend, when they travel to Staffordshire to face Stone Old Alleynians in the Preliminary Round of the competition, writes Jon Venner.
Valley had maintained their unbeaten start to the UCL Premier campaign last Saturday, with a 2-0 success at Godmanchester – where second half strikes from David Kolodynski and Dylan Parker settled a largely one-sided affair.
Town had missed out on the opportunity of making it a more emphatic margin of victory by squandering a number of gilt-edged chances, but Rugby manager Carl Adams was still relatively pleased by the start his side has made to the 2021/22 season which seen them record three wins and a draw.
Adams said: “There’s room for further improvement on the performances front, but I’m happy with the results so far.
“We’ve definitely been getting better and stronger game by game though, and to be fair we missed a few sitters on Saturday and I don’t think anybody could have complained if we had won by more.”
Danico Johnson and Parker were guilty of missing out in the first half when clean through at Bearscroft Lane, but fortunately Valley were not made to pay for their wastefulness with Kolodynski and Parker both finishing off low cut-backs from Johnson and Keenah Rosser respectively to earn their side the maximum return.
Looking forward to the immediate challenges ahead of his team, Adams continued: “Our next two league matches are both at home, and win them and we will be in good shape. First up though we have to focus on Saturday’s tie against another side from our level, where we should have every chance of progressing through as long as we are on our game.”
Stone were promoted up to the Midland Football League Premier Division in the summer from North West Counties League Division One as part of the FA restructure, and have also made an unbeaten start to their season – including reaching this Saturday’s Preliminary Round tie after a comprehensive 4-0 victory at divisional counterparts Warwick.
Town are then back in league action next Tuesday when they host Oadby at Butlin Road, with Adams hoping that Charlie Evans (ankle) and Omar Recci (thigh) will both be fit for this week’s upcoming doubleheader.
Elsewhere in the UCL, the two teams above Town in the table – Coventry United and Eynesbury – have maximum returns from the three games they have played, whilst at the bottom league newcomers Biggleswade United have already racked up a negative goal difference of 21 from their three defeats to-date.
Rugby Town supporters will be running a coach to Stone for the first team’s FA Cup game on Saturday. Departure will be 11.15am at Rugby School gates and 11.30am from Butlin Road. Cost £10, old and new supporters welcome.