Stringer is set to make changes

By Jamie Arrowsmith Wednesday 05 December 2012 Updated: 05/12 14:02

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Buy photos » Sam Youngs was on target for Rugby on Saturday. Picture by Martin Pulley.

RUGBY Town boss Dave Stringer will have to shuffle his pack ahead of the visit of Chalfont St. Peter on Saturday as he is set to be without a number of key players.

Following on from Saturday’s 2-1 win at Leighton, Town will be bidding to make it six wins on the bounce but will have to do so without suspended star striker Seb Lake-Gaskin and the unavailable Sam Youngs. Sam Belcher is also a doubt with a hamstring strain which ruled him out of the Leighton clash.

Lake-Gaskin will at least be back for Tuesday evening’s home match against Royston, although Youngs will miss that game too.

Stringer remained positive though as he looked forward to the Butlin Road double-header.

“We have got a decent squad, with players that can come in and do the job,” he said.

“We will be monitoring Sam (Belcher) this week in training and hopefully he will be fit.

“It was another good away win at Leighton. It wasn’t the most eye-catching performance, but I thought we coped well with whatever they threw at us.”

The form of Saturday’s visitors Chalfont has picked up in recent weeks after the Buckinghamshire side had made a bad start to the 2012-13 campaign.

The Saints have now lost only twice in the last nine league outings - including three wins in the last four games - and have lifted themselves up to 13th place in table in the process.

Town’s latest success on the road at Leighton kept them fifth in a tight-looking Southern League Division One Central top half.

Stringer declared himself happy with how the season was progressing - especially with the run which had seen maximum points from the last five matches.

“We’re up where we would want to be and if we can keep playing the way we are capable of, it is not unrealistic that we can be top of this league come the turn of the year,” he added.

Rugby are currently only four points shy of current leaders Burnham in what Stringer considers to be a tougher division than in previous years.

“Last time round St. Neots were the stand-out team and they deservedly won the title, but this time there are eight or nine good sides - all of whom have a decent chance.”

With 12-goal Lake-Gaskin suspended, Stringer may push Fazel Koriya into a more advanced role on Saturday, although he also has the option of giving a first league start to youth teamer Nik Evangelinos.

A fit-again Belcher would be the obvious replacement for Youngs, although Steve Palmer and Alex Austin - who were both on the bench last weekend - will also be in Stringer’s thoughts.

Next Tuesday’s game sees second placed Royston return to replay the game that was abandoned recently due to floodlight failure.

Stringer was impressed by Royston in the aborted fixture a few weeks back, with the visitors leading 1-0 at the time the game was halted.

He said: “Royston were probably the best team we have come up against so far. However, I don’t feel we did ourselves justice that day, and we have also learnt something about them from the hour or so we played - so hopefully we will be better prepared this time round.”

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