Le Masurier staying calm as Shopmates eye top spot

Richard Scott and his Thrapston Town side take on fellow high-fliers Raunds Town in a big UCL Division One derby at Chancery Lane tonight (Friday)
Richard Scott and his Thrapston Town side take on fellow high-fliers Raunds Town in a big UCL Division One derby at Chancery Lane tonight (Friday)
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Raunds Town can go top of UCL Division One tonight (Friday).

Last week’s 3-1 win at previously unbeaten leaders Lutterworth Athletic has handed the Shopmates their chance to go to the summit with victory at local rivals Thrapston Town.

“It’s a good incentive for the players,” said player-boss James Le Masurier.

“But I’m not reading to much into it.

“The pressure is on Thrapston because they are at home.

“The important thing for us is keeping the momentum. We have a winning habit and need to keep that going.”

Dave Townsend was the goal hero at Lutterworth last week, his two goals taking his haul for the season to 10 in just eight games.

La Masurier said: “Last season Dave’s head wasn’t right and he would admit that himself.

“He was playing for us and Huntingdon and had work commitments.

“He’s decided to concentrate on playing for us this season and he’s enjoying his football again.

“He has pace, technically he’s good and it’s working for him at the moment.

“He’s scored 10 goals already and if he keeps scoring goals, his confidence will be high and we will keep winning games.”

Thrapston are also among the early pacesetters and Le Masurier described them as “a good young team like us who are coming together nicely.”

Stewarts & Lloyds have confirmed Alex Cross as the permanent successor to Barry Britton at Occupation Road.

The new manager, who will be assisted by Neil Healey, will take control of the rock-bottomFoundrymen for the first time when they head to Irchester United tomorrow.

Cross has recently been involved in the youth academy at AFC Rushden & Diamonds and had been in charge of the S&L Khalsa, who play in the Northants Combination.

But Cross has a big job on his hands as he takes over a team who have eight defeats in as many matches in the league and who were hammered 9-0 by Combination side Corby Eagles in the NFA Junior Cup last weekend.

Irchester, meanwhile are in need of a victory after they slipped to a seventh successive loss when going down 3-2 to Rothwell Corinthians at Alfred Street on Tuesday night .

Corinthians will be chasing a third win in a row when they go to St Neots Town Saints tomorrow.

Elsewhere this weekend, Whitworth face a tough test as they head to early leaders Lutterworth while Burton Park Wanderers are on the road at ON Chenecks.

Rushden & Higham United take on Blackstones at Hayden Road.