Hi: 15° Lo:11°
By Jamie Arrowsmith Wednesday 30 January 2013 Updated: 30/01 15:09
RUGBY Town returned to the top of Southern League Division One Central following Tuesday night’s convincing home victory over Ashford Town.
Previous leaders Godalming’s surprise loss at lowly Chertsey at the weekend, coupled with the inactivity of Burnham, gave Town the opportunity of moving back up two places, providing they could secure a midweek win, and they did not, disappoint putting in another dominant display.
Again the goals came from all over the pitch with defender Alex Gudger scoring for a third game on the bounce, midfielders Richard Blythe and Sam Belcher both grabbing a fifth league strike of the season after top marksman David Kolodynski had given them an early lead.
The 4-0 result also meant it was three consecutive clean sheets for Dave Stringer’s men at Butlin Road and they will go into two tough games over the coming week on a high.
First is a trip to Guildford City on Saturday before they hit the road again on Tuesday with Biggleswade the destination.
City started the season in great form until they visited Rugby and saw their previously unbeaten league record shattered in a 6-1 defeat - thanks to hat-tricks from Kolodynski and Sam Youngs.
Since then they have stuttered somewhat and their 4-1 win against Fleet at the weekend was their first since mid-November as they have slipped to seventh place in the table - seven points off the final play-off place, which is currently occupied by Town’s midweek opponents.
The Waders are a further five points shy of Rugby, although they do have two games in hand and are on an impressive unbeaten run of their own - consisting of ten wins and a draw.
The omens are good for Valley though as they have yet to lose to the Bedfordshire club in the five competitive matches to-date, including a 2-2 draw at Butlin Road earlier in the season.
THE club coach to Guildford leaves Butlin Road at 10.30am. Due to the increased interest levels, anyone who has yet to secure their place on this must contact Tony Mann on 07970 691366 to check availability. The coach to Biggleswade will depart at 5pm.
STRINGER’S TOUGH DECISIONS PAYING OFF
TOWN’S table-topping performance delighted boss Dave Stringer and he said he sees it as vindication for the tough decisions he made before and near the start of the season.
“We had had near misses finishing just outside the play-offs in the two previous seasons, and it was clear to me that we had to do something different to get this club back where it deserves to be - namely in the Southern League Premier Division,” he said.
“I just felt some of last year’s squad were not as hungry as we needed them to be, so I made a conscious decision to rebuild it.
“I wanted players who were young and enthusiastic, and who wanted to play for the club and be successful, and I’m delighted to say that it’s a case of so far so good. We are having a really good time and the players are giving me everything.”
“I believe in them. They are determined, enthusiastic and importantly have got the talent and the will to win.
“There’s a buzz around the dressing room and they are all pulling for one another.
“When they pull the shirt on they give their all. That’s the hunger I wanted and the ingredient that I think was missing last season.”
Rugby Town 4 Ashford Town 0 Southern League
Stratford 2nds 17 Old Laurentians 2nds 5 Warwickshire
SEVERAL inches of snow could not stop some
HAVING had their attempt of extending their unbeaten
HE MAY have produced moments of brilliance during a spell ...
A REMARKABLE second half performance saw the Bees grab a ...
RIDERS Matt Clinton and Jack O’Neill completed their final preparations ...