Valley's FA Cup journey for the year came to a halt against higher level opposition at Butlin Road last Saturday, when NPL Premier Hednesford made the hosts pay with a clinical first half display.
Rugby were much improved after the restart, but were unable to make a dent in the Pitmen's two goal advantage, with all four of the game's goals coming within eleven opening period minutes.
Carl Adams made three changes to the line-up from the disappointing midweek defeat at Oadby, with Daniel Kavanagh, Charlie Evans and Simeon Tulloch all starting against a visiting line-up which included ex-Valley men Matt Curley and Nathan Fox in their full-back berths.
Hednesford had controlled the opening exchanges, with Dan Cockerline poking one against the base of the post and Lewis Archer heading a Curley cross over the bar.
It therefore came as no surprise when Archer gave them the lead on 23 minutes when he cut across the Rugby penalty area before squeezing his shot past keeper Matt Hill off the upright and over the line.
Valley's response was virtually immediate though, when Justin Marsden did well out wide before his delivery into the box was only pushed away by Hill's opposite number Josef Bursik to allow Richard Blythe to administer a composed finish.
The state of parity was shortlived however, with Cockerline striking one into the corner after Luke Edwards had missed his tackle on the scorer.
Three minutes later Kavanagh and Blythe were outdone in the middle of the park, and Archer ran on to pick his spot successfully for the second time to extend his side's lead.
A free-kick by Lewis Rankin did drift just wide, before the visitors threatened further goals with a well-struck rising effort by Cockerline just missing the target, Archer also putting one the wrong side of the frame and Cockerline squandering a double chance just ahead of the break.
Whilst Rugby were the busier team for the majority of the second half, their play lacked the necessary cutting edge and when opportunities did come their way, they failed to mirror the killer instinct shown by the Pitmen front-line earlier.
Evans and half-time substitute Stefan Blake both dragged their shots wide, before the best chance of the half came when Rankin flicked-on an Evans' cross - only to see Bursik pull off a fine reaction save.
Two Blythe crosses in relatively quick succession picked out first Rankin and then Evans, but both players did not use the space and time they had to the full advantage - with the former's header going over and the latter's into Bursik's arms.
Hednesford finally settled into the new period and ended the game the stronger unit.
Hill did well to deny Matt Dodd after another Blythe error, with the home keeper also in good form to keep out Mike Howard's swerving effort, before keeping out three further strikes from Dodd ahead of the final whistle.
Line-up From: Hill; Rosser, Thomas, Recci, Edwards; Kavanagh (Blake), Blythe, Marsden (Adams), Hayden; Rankin, Evans, Tulloch. Subs not used: Bunting, Steele. Booked: Thomas
Hednesford line-up: Bursik, Curley, Fox, Fitzpatrick, Galinski, Griffiths, Dodd, Craddock, Cockerline, Davies, Archer. Subs: Grimshaw, Jones, Howard, Edge, Veiga, King, Hollis.