Boss Le Masurier targeting some silverware for Shopmates

Raunds Town boss James Le Masurier takes his team to Drayton Grange in the last eight of the NFA Junior Cup tomorrow
Raunds Town boss James Le Masurier takes his team to Drayton Grange in the last eight of the NFA Junior Cup tomorrow

Raunds Town boss James Le Masurier is backing his players to make 2016 a year to remember.

Le Masurier takes his side to Northants Combination Premier Division side Drayton Grange tomorrow (Saturday), looking to clinch a place in the semi-finals of the NFA Junior Cup.

He says the cup was one of his targets at the start of the season and though he feels the Shopmates are underachieving in UCL Division One, Le Masurier believes they will come good in the second half of the season.

The Kiln Park boss said: “We have underachieved in the league this season.

“We have had some disappointing defeats at home to teams around us and below us and while other managers might go out and bring in lots of new players, we have given our squad the benefit of the doubt.

“I feel the lads have shown us loyalty and they deserve a chance to prove they are as good as I believe they are.

“2016 is a fresh start for them all.

“At the start of the season I said we wanted to earn some money from the FA Cup and FA Vase, which we have done, finish in the top six, which is doable and try to get some silverware.”

Le Masurier has steered the Shopmates through to the last eight for the second successive season.

And in Drayton Grange, Raunds face a third successive side from the Combination in this season’s competition.

Raunds have previously beaten Moulton and JK Blisworth and the Shopmates boss added: “There are a lot of good players in the Combination who, for one reason or another, don’t play in the UCL.

“If we go there expecting it to be comfortable, that’s when upsets happen. We won’t be underestimating them.”

Whitworth are also bidding to reach the semi-finals this weekend.

They make the trip to Netherton United, who knocked out UCL Division One high-fliers Stewarts & Lloyds in the last 16.

The two other quarter-final ties see Combination outfit Weldon United host Long Buckby while the top two in UCL Division One go head-to-head as ON Chenecks host Peterborough Sports.

There is a local derby in the UCL Division One action this weekend as bottom side Burton Park Wanderers take on fifth-placed Rushden & Higham United at Latimer Park.

Thrapston Town have home advantage as they host Buckingham Town while Stewarts & Lloyds make the trip to Woodford United.