Dale Belford wants Rugby Town to build momentum over the festive period - The Rugby Observer
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10th Aug, 2022

Dale Belford wants Rugby Town to build momentum over the festive period

Steve Carpenter 17th Dec, 2015 Updated: 27th Oct, 2016

HAVING been left kicking their heels after the late postponement of their game at Lincoln United on Saturday, Rugby Town will hopefully return to action this weekend when Market Drayton are the visitors to Butlin Road.

The Lincolnshire club had worked hard to get their Ashby Avenue pitch in a playable condition, but their efforts were thwarted by a downpour of torrential rain meaning Town now have three matches to be rearranged at some point later in the season.

This weekend’s opponents Market Drayton currently sit in the league’s South Division play-off zone in fifth place, although they did lose 1-0 at Spalding in their last NPL outing.

The reverse fixture between the two teams came back in September in Dale Belford’s second game in charge of the Valley, when two second half strikes by the hosts overturned an early goal from Jake Healy as part of a bright start to the game by Rugby.

The Gingerbread Men’s recent defeat created a five point gap between them and fourth place, and they will be keen to get some more points on the board with Town’s next two opponents Daventry (6th) and Basford (7th) in hot pursuit below them.

Belford is also fully aware of the need to get back on winning ways after their last game saw a late goal condemn them to a home defeat against Stocksbridge Park Steels.

Speaking after the Stocksbridge game, he said: “It’s important that we maintain our momentum.

“We’ve come a long way since we took over at the club, but a couple of defeats and you can easily be back in a relegation battle.”

While most of last weekend’s league schedule was washed out, 21st placed Loughborough Dynamo did register a rare success by beating fellow strugglers Carlton 3-2 at home.

The result puts the two sides level on 17 points and they are now just three shy of the Valley, with Tividale still propping up the table on 12.

Rugby are scheduled to face both Loughborough and Tividale at Butlin Road in January in what will surely be crucial games to their season’s destiny, with Belford confirming there will be no complacency until his targets are achieved.

Team effort

He continued: “The effort the players have put in during the three months I have been here is fantastic, but no-one will be relaxing until we are mathematically safe from the drop.

“We know that every game that we face is going to be a tough one, as this is such a tight league.  No disrespect to the Southern League (Central Division) that the club played in last time round, but from the games I saw in Rugby’s division then, there were a number of teams that you could pretty much guarantee a victory over.

“The NPL is different and you have to be focused and fight for every single point, whoever you’re up against – top or bottom.”

Rugby’s festive schedule sees them make the short trip to Daventry on Boxing Day, before hosting Basford two days later at Butlin Road. Town then round off the holiday period with a game at Newcastle Town on January 2.

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