Football
Superb Town top the table

By Jamie Arrowsmith Wednesday 12 December 2012 Updated: 17/12 12:50

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Buy photos » Jubilant Rugby Town fans celebrate going top of the table on Tuesday night. Picture by Martin Pulley. (s)

RUGBY Town hit the top of the Southern League Division One Central division following their 2-1 victory over the most recent incumbents, Royston, on Tuesday night.

It was their third 2-1 success on the trot as part of a seven match winning league streak - the first time Valley have achieved this in just short of 24 years.

Not many - if any - of the hardy hundred plus souls that braved the wintry conditions on Tuesday evening could remember the last time Rugby proudly looked down on the rest of the teams in their division, but they all agreed it had certainly been a long time as they celebrated the achievement.

The Royston fixture was the only one in the Southern League midweek schedule to survive the weather, and goals from Fazel Koriya and David Kolodynski made it a cold night to remember at Butlin Road.

Town now face a trip to AFC Hayes on Saturday, with Dave Stringer’s side looking to maintain their excellent away form this season and keep their top dog status in the process.

It is tight at the top though, with just six points separating Valley from seventh placed Beaconsfield - and Slough are also handily placed just below that with a number of games in-hand over all the teams above them.

Weekend opponents Hayes sit further back in 11th after a mixed season so-far. They have twice been on the end of six-goal hammerings - at Aylesbury and at home to Northwood - although they have also handed out one themselves at home to Beaconsfield.

In the four Central Division games between the two sides over past couple of years, Rugby edge the record with two wins to the Brooks’ one - with one game drawn.

With two games still remaining until the midway stage of the season, Valley have already racked-up just short of two thirds of their points total from the previous season, and their home form is now starting to match that of the one on the road.

Stringer should have Seb Lake-Gaskin, Richard Blythe and Sam Youngs back in contention this weekend after the trio were unavailable on Tuesday. However, it would be a brave move to change a starting XI that battled so impressively to down a Royston side who had only lost twice in the league previously.

Stringer has also signed winger Joe French from NPL outfit Stamford and the 19-year-old made his Town debut as a late substitute Saturday’s 2-1 win against Chalfont. French had started the season at Boston United, having started his career as a youngster at Burton Albion.

THE club coach to Hayes will leave Butlin Road at 11am. For information regarding availability, contact Tony Mann on 07970 691366.

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