Valley boss Belford looking for bounce back ability - The Rugby Observer
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Valley boss Belford looking for bounce back ability

Steve Carpenter 10th Dec, 2015 Updated: 27th Oct, 2016

HAVING seen their three-match unbeaten run come to an end after tasting a 2-1 home defeat to Stocksbridge on Saturday, Rugby Town boss Dale Belford is hoping to bounce back to winning ways when they travel to Lincoln this weekend.

Chris Tullin’s first goal of his third spell at the club had looked like securing Valley a deserved point from Saturday’s encounter.

But an uncharacteristic mistake by fellow defender Mason Rowley then saw the visitors snatch their second last-gasp victory of the season over Rugby.

The Stocksbridge defeat and the previous match against Spalding, where Town did manage to earn a point, reaffirmed Valley boss Dale Belford’s overall view of the NPL South Division.

He explained: “I have said from the start that this is a very tight league, with very little to separate all the teams.

“We believe that we are match for anyone in the division, but errors like the one on Saturday can cost you dearly.

“However I refuse to point the finger at anyone, as the players have responded brilliantly since we took over and I am proud of what they have achieved to date.

“The challenge is now to finish the job that we have started and continue to pull away from the relegation zone and maintain our status at this level.”

There are still six points between Rugby and the relegation zone after the current bottom two, Loughborough and Tividale, also both lost at the weekend.

Loughborough were thrashed 9-1 at Dave Stringer’s Chasetown, whilst last placed Tividale were going down 3-1 at home to Town’s opponents this weekend Lincoln.

Saturday’s match-up will be the third between the two sides in just over three months, with Valley having seen off the Whites in the Second Qualifying Round of the FA Cup at the end of September, following on from their draw at Butlin Road in the league earlier that month.

David Kolodynski was on target in both of those fixtures, but another blank for him last weekend meant it is now four games without a goal for Rugby’s record goalscorer.

Belford should have a fully fit and available squad to choose from at Lincoln, as they start a run of four matches against teams currently sitting in the division’s top half.

He continued: “It’s the first time since we’ve been here that we have had a full complement to choose from, which is nice problem to have.

“We’ve brought in a few players over the last couple of weeks and they have added some quality and depth to the squad.

“Matt (Curley) has impressed me already and I’m sure that once Ryan (Smith) gets his match fitness up to the required level that he will make an impact too.”

Elsewhere, Town’s on-loan duo Sam Warburton and Danny Clifton both received the news that their contracts at parent club Northampton will not be extended upon their expiration at the end of December.

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