RUGBY Town travel to Harborough Town on Saturday to conclude their debut UCL Premier Division, after picking up a win against Desborough and suffering a 3-0 drubbing to champions Daventry over the course of the Easter weekend.
Deeping Rangers’ win over Rothwell Corinthians on Saturday condemned Valley to a a third-placed finish, meaning this weekend’s visit will only have pride at stake.
The club recently held their annual presentation evening, taking place on Saturday night after the Desborough game, where manager Carl Adams expressed his gratitude towards his players and the backing of the Butlin Road faithful.
“Unfortunately we have just come up a little bit short this season, but I would like to thank the players for their efforts and also the loyal supporters that travelled around with us this season.
“In many other years our record could easily have us up there fighting for top spot, but we have come up against a very good side in Daventry and they have deservedly won the league by a comfortable margin.”
Having enjoyed a successful first season at the helm of Rugby Town, Adams is keen to use the shortcomings from this campaign as motivation in the hunt for greater glories next season.
“For the first 25 games or so, we enjoyed some great results in the league and also had a decent FA Cup run in there too.
“However it was always going to be difficult having been transferred into a new league that we knew little about, but it has been an invaluable learning experience and hopefully everyone will stick with us and we will give it a real go next season.”
The 3-0 defeat to Daventry was Rugby’s heaviest of the season, although it did not reflect the balance of the game, with Rugby arguably the better of the two in the opening half.
Daniel Kavanagh and Lee Thomas were the two changes to the side, replacing Keenah Rosser and Lewis Rankin.
Daventry were the first to get a shot on target, drawing Matt Hill into an excellent stop to keep out Rico Alexander’s effort, whilst Edwin Ahenkorah called the host’s keeper into action with a free-kick down the other end.
It took 38 minutes for the opener to arrive, after a Luke Emery effort that clattered against the post fell kindly for Kieran Fitzgerald to slot home on the rebound.
Charlie Evans went agonisingly close to levelling just before the break, after nudging Justin Marsden’s centre narrowly wide of the post.
The second-half proved a much more straightforward affair for the hosts, who demonstrated their class and their status as champions by wrapping up the game comfortably.
A second of the game for Fitzgerald was from a chance of his own making, when he weaved past the Rugby Town defence and fired into the net past Hill.
Hill did well to deny Fitzgerald a hat-trick goal with his legs, but he could do nothing to stop the third 12 minutes from time.
Alexander was left unmarked, and he gratefully seized the opportunity to thump home a header from Adam Creaney’s cross, after Valley failed to clear from the initial corner.
In Saturday’s win over Desborough Town, their first at Butlin Road since February, second-half strikes from Dom Perkins and Ahenkorah came either side of Leo Adams’ leveller, in a game in which they put in an impressive showing despite only winning by the odd goal.
Rugby look ahead to Saturday’s game hoping to do the double over Harborough, having won the reverse game at Butlin Road 2-1 back in February – incidentally their last home win prior to last Saturday.
Valley’s previous run-out at Harborough’s Bowden Park home resulted in a 4-1 win for the visitors that day, helped by Danico Johnson’s hat-trick, and will hope for a similar scoreline this time around to wrap up another positive season.