Revenge on the cards as Rugby Town host Stocksbridge - The Rugby Observer
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12th Aug, 2022

Revenge on the cards as Rugby Town host Stocksbridge

Steve Carpenter 3rd Dec, 2015 Updated: 27th Oct, 2016

RUGBY Town are on an impressive run of one defeat in seven league outings and they are back at Butlin Road this Saturday when they host Stocksbridge Park Steels.

Valley will be looking for revenge over the South Yorkshire side following a cruel 1-0 defeat there two and a half months ago.

Dale Belford’s side had acquitted themselves well against the then third placed opponents in his first game in charge before a 95th minute winner by Steels’ Richard Patterson secured the hosts the victory.

It will be a decidedly new-look Town line-up that will take to the field this weekend though, with only four players who started in that September match-up also in the opening 11of the Spalding draw.

Belford has steadily transformed the squad he inherited from Gary Mills, including three more new signings who featured in last Saturday’s 1-1 draw against Spalding.

Midfielders Matt Curley and Ryan Smith were joined in the starting line-up by the club’s ninth goalkeeper of the campaign Sam Andrew.

Andrew’s signing was fast-tracked following that match, with Belford hoping he has now solved his problem position with the arrival of a player he knows from their time together at Tamworth.

Curley signs from fellow NPL South Division Romulus, where he has been a regular member of their side  – including the Roms’ 2-0 win at Butlin Road in Mills’ last game before he resigned the Butlin Road hotseat.

Ex-Coventry City academy prospect Smith has joined on a loan arrangement from National League North Nuneaton until the New Year, having played in the majority of the club’s games last season until falling out of favour with the incoming manager in the summer Kevin Wilson.

This weekend’s opponents have steadily dropped down the table since that last gasp win over Rugby in September, having won only one more of their subsequent six league matches.

Town are however now six points clear of the division’s relegation zone, and with ninth placed Sheffield just four points ahead of them, a good run in a busy December could easily see them challenging in the top half of the table.

Belford welcomes Rob Parker back to the squad this weekend, after he missed the Spalding game through suspension.

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