IN-FORM Rugby Town will be hoping for a swift return to action this weekend at home to Aylesbury United after their previous match at St.Ives fell victim to the winter weather.
Valley looked set stretch their winning streak to eight matches when the Cambridgeshire club passed their pitch fit to play after a 10.30am pitch inspection on Saturday.
However less than two hours later and with the Town coach having already set off, a covering of snow saw the game postponed to the frustration of Valley players and staff.
Despite not playing Valley remain fourth place in the Evostik Southern League Central Division table with Kettering, Bedworth and Aylesbury FC above all jostling for the top spot.
Bedworth’s weekend 3-1 success over North Greenford had seen them leapfrog the previous leaders Aylesbury to take over at the summit, but Kettering’s narrow win against Beaconsfield on Tuesday evening saw them regain pole position, with just two points separating the top three sides.
Valley are three points further back with the final play-off place currently occupied by Hanwell who are a point behind Dave Stringer’s side, although they do have a game-in-hand.
Barton (sixth) and Royston (seventh) are the two other clubs likely to be in the play-off mix come the end of the season, although Barton’s hopes took a blow when their hot prospect Keshi Anderson earned himself a dream move to Premier League side Crystal Palace on Monday’s transfer deadline day.
Anderson scored Rovers’ first goal in their 2-0 victory against Rugby back in October, and his remarkable rise seven levels up the football ladder was sealed after he scored a hat-trick within six minutes against his new team whilst on trial at Brentford.
Saturday’s visitors United boast their own prolific scoring threat in the shape of Lewis Putman, who currently tops the Central Division goals chart with 19. Putman started the season in fine form at Hanwell, and has continued to add to his tally with the Ducks since his switch there in November.
United’s 4-2 midweek defeat at Uxbridge meant they stayed in 15th position in the table, and Town will be looking to complete their fourth double of the season, after they a secured a 3-2 success in the reverse fixture at Bell Close in November when a late strike from Will Grocott settled a rollercoaster affair.
Stringer should have virtually a full squad to pick from at the weekend, with Robbie Burns and possibly even Craig Kelly both nearing a return from injury.
Following on from Saturday’s match Butlin Road game, Valley then host Corby in the Quarter Final of the Red Insure (League) Cup next Tuesday (February 10), when they will be hoping to improve on their last appearance at this stage of the competition in 2012 when they narrowly lost at Chesham.
Corby are currently challenging for a return to the Conference structure, sitting in fourth place in the Premier Division – although their nine match unbeaten run in the league did come to an end at the weekend with a 1-0 defeat at Paulton.