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By Jamie Arrowsmith Wednesday 06 February 2013 Updated: 06/02 18:46
RUGBY Town have lost their place at the top of the Southern League Division One Central table after recording two defeats over the past week.
Town slipped to fourth after their 12-game unbeaten run ended with 2-1 and 1-0 defeats at Guildford and Biggleswade respectively.
They will count themselves unlucky to have returned from their travels with nothing to show for a couple of spirited, capable displays - despite being reduced to ten men on both occasions.
Keeper Dave Bevan saw red at Guildford at the weekend and midfielder Sam Belcher suffered the same fate three days on against the Waders, and now Valley boss Dave Stringer must lift his side ahead this Saturday’s home fixture with struggling Chertsey.
Bevan and Belcher became the fourth and fifth players to be sent off in Town colours this season, following Ross Miller, Michael Williams and Steve Palmer’s dismissals in its first half. Bevan will consequently lose his ever-present record when Rugby travel to Royston a week Saturday.
It is still tight at the top however, with just a single point separating new leaders Biggleswade from fifth placed Royston, although Rugby have played more games than all three teams currently ahead of them.
Tuesday evening was the first game in 22 that Town had failed to hit the target, and only their second blank return of the league campaign to-date.
Rugby’s 58 league goals is still an impressive overall return at this stage, especially considering the club has only surpassed this total nine times in a whole season in its previous 29 Southern League years.
Saturday’s visitors Chertsey have had a disappointing league campaign to-date - languishing in 20th with just one win from 11 games on the road.
The two sides drew the reverse fixture 1-1 earlier in the season, with David Kolodynski on target for Valley at Alwyns Lane.
TOWN’S defeat at Guildford last Saturday brought an end to an unbeaten run that had stretched back nearly three months to the victory at Slough. It fell four games short of the club’s previous Southern League best of 16 matches, which they have achieved twice in 1988/89 and 1993/94.
Two recently postponed games have been rearranged. Rugby will travel to Woodford on March 12 and host Beaconsfield on March 26.
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