In-form Shopmates aiming to book a date at Sixfields

Action from the UCL Division One clash between ON Chenecks and Whitworth last weekend, which ended in a 1-1 draw
Action from the UCL Division One clash between ON Chenecks and Whitworth last weekend, which ended in a 1-1 draw

Raunds Town can book a big day out at Sixfields this weekend.

The Shopmates head to Netherton United tomorrow (Saturday) in the semi-finals of the NFA Junior Cup.

The winners will meet either Peterborough Sports or Weldon United in the final.

Netherton are from the Peterborough Premier League and have upset UCL sides Stewarts & Lloyds and Whitworths to reach the last four.

Raunds go into the tie boosted by a four-game unbeaten run.

But despite that good form, boss James Le Masurier regards his side as underdogs tomorrow.

Le Masurier said: “This the most difficult game we’ve had for a long time.

“Netherton have proved they are good enough to beat teams in our division and will fancy their chances of beating us.

“They have players with UCL experience and play on a 3G pitch, so that is another advantage they have.

“I think we are the underdogs, but our form is good and playing at Sixfields is a great incentive for all the players.

“They are a good group of players who have been together for a long time and deserve the chance to play on a bigger stage.

“They will get their chance if they perform on Saturday. It would be the least they deserve.”

Last weekend, the Shopmates were 4-0 winners over Oakham United in UCL Division One, with new signing Nat Gosnal-Tyler among the scorers.

Gosnal-Tyler is cup-tied for Saturday’s match, along with fellow recent recruits Luke Raftery, Mark Panter and Harry Lloyd.

Brothers Daniel and Nathan Stewart, brought in from Wellingborough Town, are available and Le Masurier reports goalkeeper Chris Jones is on his way back from a thigh injury that’s kept him out since last September.

Le Masurier said: “We added a few players to freshen things up and give us more competition for places and it’s worked.

“When you have competition, everyone ups their game.

“They have to perform if they want to keep the shirt and that’s what we’ve seen.”

There are two local derbies in the ChromaSport & Trophies United Counties League Division One this weekend.

Stewarts & Lloyds will be aiming to get their promotion challenge back on track when they host Whitworth while Thrapston Town take on bottom side Burton Park Wanderers at Chancery Lane.

Irchester United, fresh from beating S&L last weekend, head to second-placed ON Chenecks while Rushden & Higham are also on the road as they go to Bugbrooke.