By Jamie Arrowsmith 16/04 Updated: 24/04 16:27
RUGBY Town improved their hopes of securing a place in the Southern League Division One Central play-off places with two wins over the Easter weekend.
Saturday’s 2-0 victory at Chalfont St Peter was followed by a 1-0 home success against Bedworth on Monday to leave Town three points off the final play-off spot with three games of the season remaining.
Valley’s run-in pitches them against teams who have little left to play for this season, whilst the teams around them will have to play at least one game against fellow top eight challengers.
Boss Dave Stringer reflected on the two latest victories and looked forward to a potentially exciting climax to the year.
“It was a good couple of wins for us and what was very much needed. We dug deep and did a very professional job in both games, and it sets things up nicely for the final three fixtures,” he said.
“Every game is difficult in this division, but of course we would rather have our run-in compared to the others up there with us.
“We will not be taking any of our opponents lightly though, as sometimes a team who has nothing in particular at stake can be more free to express themselves and be extremely dangerous as a result.
“Even though we are three points behind that crucial fifth place, I’m confident that if we can end with three wins that will be enough make the play-offs.”
First up for Town is a trip to North Greenford on Saturday, followed by another away game at mid-table AFC Hayes the following weekend. They end their campaign at home against bottom of the table Marlow on April 28.
Valley will be looking to complete their sixth double of the season at the weekend, after winning the reverse fixture between the two sides in December when Luke Keen (2), Seb Hamilton and Ed Booth were on target in a 4-2 victory.
Stringer will be without the services of Ross Miller and Michael Williams for the game, as the duo join Hamilton on the suspended list following their recent sending-offs at home to Fleet.
He rates defender Booth as ‘50-50’ for the Middlesex trip after he missed the Bedworth game with a hamstring injury, but was boosted by the return to the squad of Keen - with the club’s top scorer featuring for the final ten minutes of the game from the bench.
Despite the absentees, Stringer remains confident that there is the ability in the squad to achieve the target.
He said: “We have proved that we have the quality here with the way we played at the start of the year, and we have told the lads that the only team that will stop us now is ourselves.
“We have shot ourselves in the foot recently - either by conceding sloppy goals or by not finishing teams off when we had the chance, and we really should be sitting comfortably in a play-off position by now.
“It’s up to us to put that right in the next few weeks and end the season on a high.”
THE club coach to North Greenford will leave the clubhouse at 11am. Anyone interested in securing a place on this should contact Tony Mann on 07970 691366.
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