In-form Ar Tarn must tighten up at the back

Raunds Town celebrate one of their goals during last weekend's 2-0 win at Long Buckby. The Shopmates face ON Chenecks in the FA Vase tomorrow. Picture by Dave Ikin
Raunds Town celebrate one of their goals during last weekend's 2-0 win at Long Buckby. The Shopmates face ON Chenecks in the FA Vase tomorrow. Picture by Dave Ikin
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Desborough Town boss Chris Bradshaw wants his team to tighten up their defences.

Ar Tarn have made a highly-impressive start to the UCL Premier Division campaign and sit in fourth place having beaten Wellingborough Town, who now sit at the top following a midweek win at Newport Pagnell, 5-3 at the Waterworks Field last weekend.

Desborough are now preparing to host UCL Division One side Woodford United in the first qualifying round of the FA Vase tomorrow (Saturday).

And Bradshaw insists there is plenty for his team to work on as they look to avoid an upset.

“Since I said we weren’t creating enough chances, we seem to have created plenty and we have been putting them away as well,” the Ar Tarn boss said.

“But we clearly have things to work on defensively because we have won the last two games 6-4 and 5-3 so that’s an area to improve on.

“We have done well so far and we have to take that into this weekend.

“We are playing a team from the division below but we have to take it seriously and make sure we fully prepared. I am expecting a hard game.

“I really want us to progress and go on to have a good run in the Vase.”

Joint-boss Jim Scott insists Rothwell Corinthians will give Burton Park Wanderers “the right respect” when they meet in the first qualifying round of the FA Vase at Sergeants Lawn tomorrow.

Corinthians hit back from a run of four defeats in a row in all competitions with a 3-1 home success over Leicester Nirvana on Tuesday night as they moved into the top five in the UCL Premier Division.

And they will be big favourites to advance this weekend with Wanderers having endured a torrid start to their Division One campaign.

“We have to give them the right respect,” Scott said.

“They have had some indifferent results but their 2-1 loss at Lutterworth Athletic on Tuesday night proves it’s not going to be an easy game.

“We want a run in the FA Vase for the club and we are taking this first game very seriously.

“We played well on Tuesday and we are very happy with the start we have made.

“We have been without some key players due to suspensions and holidays in the early stages so to get to this stage and be on 12 points is pleasing.”

Wanderers have taken some heavy defeats already this season but boss Luke Smith was left “gutted” by the defeat at Lutterworth as his team led 1-0 until late on.

But, despite their struggles, he insists he pressure is off this weekend.

He said: “I am still gutted about it now. We should have won the game but we had a poor decision go against us for their penalty and then one mistake has lost it for us.

“It’s been tough because we lost seven of our starting 11 from the end of last season when we were really competing with every team in the division.

“I think Tuesday showed people who think we are a joke that we aren’t making up the numbers.

“And as far as Saturday is concerned, we don’t have a great deal to lose.

“All the pressure is on them. I am sure they will want a good run in the Vase and everyone will be thinking they should beat us.

“But I will always back the 14 or 15 who are representing me and we will have our plans in place to try to make sure we get a good result.”

Raunds Town boss Jim Le Masurier wants his in-form team to have a “real go” at ON Chenecks when the two team meets collide in the first qualifying round of the FA Vase at Kiln Park tomorrow.

The Shopmates head into the clash on the crest of a wave after they moved into third place in Division One of the United Counties League on Tuesday night.

Having claimed a fine 2-0 success at Long Buckby last weekend, Raunds followed it up by seeing off Blackstones 3-0 at Kiln Park to make seven games without defeat in the league.

Now Le Masurier and his players are eyeing an upset in knockout football against a Chenecks team, who were promoted to the UCL Premier Division last season.

“We lost the first game of the season to Oakham but we have progressed well since then and the last two performances, particularly the win at Long Buckby last weekend, have been very good,” the Shopmates boss said.

“It means we go into this weekend sitting nicely in third place and we can now focus on the FA Vase.

“I know the Chenecks manager quite well and we have had good battles with them in the past.

“They are a strong side and I am sure they will do well in the Premier Division.

“I would like to think I know enough about them to enable us to have a real go at them.

“We have nothing to lose and I would say there is more pressure on them as they are from the higher level.”

Whitworth moved into fourth place in Division One on Tuesday night after a 3-2 success at Woodford United and they make the short trip to take on Division One rivals Stewarts & Lloyds in the FA Vase this weekend.

Whitworth, meanwhile, raised £106 from a collection during their 3-1 success over Bourne Town last weekend.

The club were selling Men United pin badges and also had a bucket collection in support of Prostate Cancer UK as part of National Non-League Day,

Thrapston Town enjoyed a penalty shoot-out success over Premier Division outfit Sileby Rangers in the UCL Knockout Cup in midweek and they begin their FA Vase campaign at AFC Hillgate.

Irchester United are on the road to take on FC Deportivo Galicia while Rushden & Higham United, beaten 3-2 at Potton United on Tuesday, travel to Winslow United.