Key men return for S&L’s ‘three huge games’

Action from Rushden & Higham's 3-2 win at Buckingham in their last UCL Division One outing. The Lankie will be hoping to be back in action against Bourne Town this weekend
Action from Rushden & Higham's 3-2 win at Buckingham in their last UCL Division One outing. The Lankie will be hoping to be back in action against Bourne Town this weekend

Stewarts & Lloyds enter a spell of what boss John Cairns calls “three huge games” boosted by the return of key players.

Last weekend, the Foundrymen took Premier Division side Boston Town to extra-time in their re-arranged UCL Knockout Cup match, despite making the trip to Lincolnshire with only 12 players.

Cairns this weekend welcomes back striker David Sheridan, Callum Noble and Mark Till for the trip to Blackstones, which is then followed by back-to-back home games against Bourne Town and Potton United.

Bourne and Potton are among a group of teams chasing S&L, who are currently second in Division One behind runaway leaders Peterborough Sports.

Sports have won all 13 games this season and Cairns said: “Them running away with the league has made it harder for us.

“Teams don’t think they can catch Peterborough Sports, but they think they can catch us.

“We are the team they are all targeting but that’s the way football is and we have to deal with the pressure.

“There are a lot of good sides fighting for second place and there’s no room for mistakes.”

Last week, S&L found themselves 3-0 down at the break at Boston and drew level through goals from Dany Reid, Lee Tosh and Paddy Daniels before being beaten 4-3 in extra-time.

“I blame the slow start on the travelling,” said Cairns.

“It was a long way to go and it was lashing it down with rain all the way there.

“We were thinking the game might get called off.

“Whatever the reason, I sensed in the changing-room before the game that things weren’t right.

“We were soon 3-0 down, but responded really well in the second half and should really have won the game.

“We had chances to win it late on and once the game went to extra-time, I didn’t fancy our chances.

“We had put everything into it and were shattered after 90 minutes.”

Elsewhere in Division One this weekend, third-placed Rushden & Higham United entertain Bourne Town at Hayden Road.

Thrapston Town face a big top-seven clash at Potton United while eight-placed Irchester United host sixth-placed Oakham.

Whitworth, fresh from a 2-1 win at Burton Park Wanderers in midweek, head to Buckingham while Wanderers travel to Bugbrooke.

Raunds Town, meanwhile, host Long Buckby at Kiln Park.