First win on the board for S&L as Benjamin sees a ‘gradual improvement’

Ian Benjamin was delighted to see his Stewarts & Lloyds side pick up their first win of the season in midweek

Ian Benjamin was delighted to see his Stewarts & Lloyds side pick up their first win of the season in midweek

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Stewarts & Lloyds picked up their first win of the UCL Division One season on Tuesday night, much to the delight of boss Ian Benjamin.

Goals from Connor Bird (2) and Jake Buckingham secured a 3-1 success over Bourne Town at Occupation Road to give the Foundrymen a much-needed lift after four defeats in a row.

Former Corby Town striker Benjamin insists he is enjoying the challenge of working with a young group of players having taken the reins during the summer.

And he is hoping that first win of the campaign will give them a boost in confidence ahead of tomorrow’s (Saturday) trip to Raunds Town.

“I was really pleased for the lads because they have worked hard,” Benjamin said.

“It’s been difficult because I want to get as many local players as possible involved here but I have seen a gradual improvement.

“We have been in most games and not taken our chances but we thoroughly deserved the victory on Tuesday night.

“We are a young squad, I think the average age of our team that played at Rushden & Higham last weekend was 18.

“But there is a good youth system in place here and, having watched the under-18 team I would have no fears about giving some of them the chance to step up.

“There isn’t a big budget available so it is a challenge for me but I am enjoying it.

“It’s another tough game at Raunds this weekend but I am sure our players will have taken a lot of confidence from the result on Tuesday night.”

Raunds maintained their steady start to the new campaign with a 2-1 success over Whittlesey Athletic in midweek as goals from Nick Harrison and Dave Townsend sealed the points.

Burton Park Wanderers have endured a tough few days as they were hammered 15-0 by Whittlesey last weekend before suffering a 6-0 defeat at the hands of early high-fliers Long Buckby on Tuesday.

Wanderers travel to Daventry Town this weekend while Irchester United, who were on the end of a 5-1 loss at Lutterworth Athletic in midweek, make the trip to Bourne.

Thrapston Town, Rushden & Higham United and Whitworth were all in action on Wednesday night.

Thrapston picked up their third win in five matches with 3-2 success at Blackstones. Goals from Jedd Whiteman, Cory James and Liam Carter put them 3-0 up inside 19 points and they held on for the points, despite a fightback from the hosts.

Whitworth also picked up an impressive away win as they were also 3-2 winners at Bugbrooke but there was disappointment for Rushden & Higham as they went down 3-1 at Buckingham Town.

This weekend, Thrapston have a trip to Bugbrooke, the Lankies entertain Blackstones and the Flourmen are without a game.