Junior Cup final place at stake for UCL rivals

Rushden & Higham manager Aidy Mann
Rushden & Higham manager Aidy Mann
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The clash of the weekend takes place at Hayden Road where Rushden & Higham host Rothwell Corinthians in the semi-finals of the NFA Junior Cup.

The all UCL Division One encounter guarantees that there will be a side from North Northamptonshire in the final with the other last four tie being betwen Cogenhoe Reserves and Combination outfit Brixworth All Saints.

And if the words of the respective managers, Rushden’s Aidy Mann and Rothwell’s Ben Watts, are anything to go by, then a keenly contested and evenly balanced affair is in the offing.

“It’s a game that could go either way and whoever turns up on the day will go through,” said Mann.

“I do know that they’ll be up for it and we’ll be exactly the same.”

As for Watts, he commented: “Neither side has a chance of promotion so both are focused on going all the way in this competition.

“We beat Sileby in the last round so we know that anything can happen.”

S&L Corby entertain Wellingborough Town at Occupation Road in the Premier Division, with their boss, Daren Young, playing down any concerns over the fixture backlog that awaits in the latter part of the campaign.

He said: “I’ve heard talk of games being played Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday in February.

“That would make it tough but we’ve got a group of good lads and it is nothing that we can’t cope with.”

Elsewhere, bottom side Irchester make the trip to Boston Town while Desborough, who have lost the services of striker Michael Bryne to the ambitious Division One leaders Sileby Rangers, travel to Blackstones.

In Division One, Burton Park Wanderers desperately need three points as they visit Raunds.

Kevin Fox’s men are rock bottom of the table with just five points to their name and the manager knows that has to improved and quickly.

He said: “I’m positive, as are the lads, but we have to get that first win and we have to score some goals.

“One good result could turn things around for us and the games against the teams around us are where we have to get some results.”

There is action at the Dog & Duck where AFC Rushden & Diamonds host Wootton Blue Cross, Thrapston are on the road at Northampton Spencer and Whitworth host Olney.