RUGBY TOWN’s reward for their impressive 5-1 victory over Lakenheath is a trip to FA Vase favourites North Shields in the last 16 of the competition next month.
Valley will make a four-hundred mile round trip to the Northern League side on Saturday, February 12.
Rugby reached the last 16 in style as Danico Johnson’s brace, alongside goals from Justin Marsden, Loyiso Recci and Caine Elliott, secured an emphatic 5-1 victory at Butlin Road.
And after easing past Eastern Counties League side Lakenheath, manager Carl Adams admitted it was not the draw he wanted.
Adams said: “It was a great performance on the day. We were very focused and looked composed and in charge from the off.
“We scored some excellent goals too, and all in all it was definitely a good job done.
“It’s definitely not the draw we would have wanted beforehand as it’s such a long way to have to travel, but hopefully we can get a coachload or two of supporters up to Tyneside for the game.
“We will definitely not be fearing them though. We have been on a great run of form over the past few months and after Saturday it’s now 16 wins from the last 18 matches for us.”
North Shields have been widely touted as favourites for the competition following their penalty shoot-out success at Rugby’s fellow UCL Premier South club Harborough.
The Tyneside club are also previous winners of the competition like Valley, having triumphed at Wembley in 2014, with Rugby winning the trophy in 1983.
Northern clubs have enjoyed plenty of success in the Vase in recent years
Adams added: “There’s no denying they have enjoyed a disproportionate level of success in recent times, but it is also a fact that North Shields are the only club now left in from the Northern League – whereas there were five UCL clubs in Monday’s draw – three of which are from our division.
“Furthermore, we’ve already beaten the team that have the best record in the country at our level of the pyramid in an earlier round, so we know we have the quality and spirit here to make it into the quarter finals.”
Adams sampled the Wembley experience in the FA Trophy Final in 2000 as a player at Kettering and knows first-hand the impact a successful cup run can have on a club.
He said: “The players are all buzzing at the moment and I think the supporters are too.
“Of course it would be great if we could match the previous exploits of the club in the competition, but in the mean time we just want to keep our decent run in the league going, win as many games as possible and finish as high up the table as we can.”
Rugby are next in action away at Cogenhoe United on Saturday, January 22 with kick-off at 3pm at Compton Park.