Valley beat the weather to extend their lead at the halfway stage

Rugby Town wrapped up the first half of the 2022/23 league term with a sixth successive victory in Saturday's 5-3 goal fest against Coventry United at the Butts Park Arena, writes Jon Venner.

Rugby Town celebrate one of their goals in last weekend's 5-3 victory at Coventry United. Pictures by Martin Pulley
Rugby Town celebrate one of their goals in last weekend's 5-3 victory at Coventry United. Pictures by Martin Pulley

With the rest of last weekend's UCL Premier Division South schedule wiped out by the cold weather snap, Town's latest success meant they increased their lead at the top of the table to 10 points with now just 17 games remaining for Carl Adams' side.

For the second week running, Valley raced to an early three-goal advantage and the outcome was never really in doubt thereafter.

Liam Francis headed home his third goal of the season after fifteen minutes, with David Kolodynski continuing his prolific form of late soon after when he finished off an excellent cross from Dan Summerfield.

David Kolodynski celebrates after scoring his goal for Rugby

United's Jake Williams then diverted in an Edwin Ahenkorah whipped-delivery to make it three, before the hosts pulled one back through Jared Bradshaw just past the half-hour mark.

Rugby's three-goal margin was restored before the interval though, when Jordan Wilson volleyed one past Coventry keeper Kris Roscoe, although Kyle Carey reduced it again early into the new period.

Josh Thomas near-post flick to a clever free-kick by Ryan Seal then settled any Valley nerves, with sub Madundo Semahimbo missing the chance to extend Town's tally to six when Roscoe was across his goal well to keep out his penalty kick.

United sub Archie Gallacher rounded off the scoring for the afternoon with virtually the last kick of the game to give the final margin a slightly unrealistic feel to it, but Adams will be pleased with how his side performed on the day against potentially tricky opposition.

Town are scheduled to make the trip to Cogenhoe United this Saturday, but with the sub-zero temperatures forecasted to continue into the weekend, there is a significant chance that Rugby's next outing will be the home Boxing Day derby against struggling Lutterworth Town.

In addition to the recent recovery from injury of key performers this season Keenah Rosser and Barry Fitzharris, Adams' squad for the festive period has also been boosted by the short-term return of Tom Fielding.

Fielding previously made an immediate impact at Butlin Road with four goals and three assists in a month-long spell for the club before relocating to London for a new job, but his reappearance from the bench against United on Saturday provided a timely and dangerous threat as Town look to extend their great start into the second half of the campaign.