Home boost for Rugby Town as FA Cup clash is switched to Butlin Road

Grantham pitch problems lead to venue switch...

David Kolodynski goes close for Rugby in Saturday's draw with Newport Pagnell (Picture Martin Pulley)
David Kolodynski goes close for Rugby in Saturday's draw with Newport Pagnell (Picture Martin Pulley)

Rugby Town received an unexpected boost ahead of their first appearance in the FA Cup First Qualifying Round in four years, when their scheduled tie at Grantham Town's South Kesteven Stadium this Saturday was switched to Butlin Road following the much-publicised problems with the Gingerbreads' pitch.

Grantham's planned NPL home fixture against Worksop was called off on Monday after significant damage to the playing surface was carried out by crows feasting on an infestation of chafer grubs there, leaving the hosts to launch an emergency repair initiative.

However the remedial works cannot be completed in time for the game at the weekend, so the two clubs have agreed to reverse the fixture instead.

Valley boss Carl Adams commented: "It had been disappointing to get an away draw for the third time on the bounce in the competition, but now we have the opportunity of a home tie instead in pretty bizarre circumstances.

"A good FA Cup run always creates a buzz in the dressing room and with the supporters, so hopefully we can take advantage of this to progress even further on Saturday."

Rugby qualified for this stage of the competition for only the second time in six campaigns after coming through two gruelling encounters against same level opposition in Westfields and Studley, before being drawn against a team one level above them this time round.

Grantham were relegated down from the NPL Premier Division at the end of last season, and they are old foes of Town from the clubs' days in the Southern League with 25 games between the two clubs over the years.

Rugby maintained their unbeaten start to the term with a backs-to-the-walls draw at UCL Premier hot tips Newport Pagnell last Saturday.

The hosts took the lead at Willen Road on 51 minutes when Ben Shepherd converted from the spot after Caine Elliott handled just inside the box.

Valley were level within a minute though, Justin Marsden slashing home a David Kolodynski assist. The Swans then peppered Rugby's goal without being to find a way past keeper Matt Hill and the resolute Town defence.

Rugby are scheduled to entertain Leicester Nirvana in the League Cup next Tuesday night.