CARL Adams insists Rugby Town will not fear the challenge in trying to become the first team to beat Hinckley LR on Saturday when the United Counties League Premier South sides meet in the FA Vase.
Hinckley – formerly Leicester Road – have won all 18 league matches this season, including defeating Valley 3-1 in September.
But Adams’ side have the incentive of reaching the Vase third round for the first time since their reintroduction back into the competition in 2017.
Valley famously lifted this prestige trophy back in 1983 but face one of the toughest of tests possible this Saturday at Butlin Road.
“From what we saw earlier in the season, we feel that they are beatable,” said Adams.
“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, though, head into the tie with a level of confidence after a late David Kolodynski double sealed a 4-2 home league win over ten-man Desborough Town at the weekend.
“We dominated the majority of the game and missed a number of good chances,” said Adams.
“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.”
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.
Town 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.
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.