Plenty at stake as Shopmates face Flourmen

Rothwell Corinthians, seen here in action against ON Chenecks earier this season, head to Woodford United in the UCL Division One this weekend
Rothwell Corinthians, seen here in action against ON Chenecks earier this season, head to Woodford United in the UCL Division One this weekend
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It won’t just be the local bragging rights up for grabs when Raunds Town take on Whitworth in the UCL Division One at Kiln Park tonight (Friday).

Both teams go into the clash having made unbeaten starts to the season in the first three matches.

The Shopmates have been particularly impressive as three wins have left them with one of only two 100 per cent records in the division.

But the Flourmen have also made a decent start as respective 3-0 and 8-0 wins at Stewarts & Lloyds and Burton Park Wanderers were followed by a 2-2 draw at Buckingham Town last weekend.

It sets up an intriguing local derby tomorrow evening with both teams knowing that a win will put them on top of the early standings going into the remainder of the weekend’s fixtures.

For Raunds, it is a familiar feeling after they enjoyed a fine unbeaten start to the season 12 months ago.

And joint-manager James Le Masurier has admitted there would have been some disappointment if they hadn’t started well.

“It is similar to last year but the difference at the moment is that we have turned draws into wins,” Le Masurier said.

“It’s always pleasing to start well but a lot of work went into it during pre-season. Our preparations were good and it would have been disappointing not to start well after all the effort the players put in.

“There has been a lot of talk this year about how open the division is and with that being the case, a lot depends on the individual team and how they perform on the day.

“Both us and Whitworth have had good starts to the season so it will be interesting.

“But we will go into it with exactly the same attitude as we have had in the first three.

“We want to win our home matches and, as we are at home tomorrow, it probably means there is a bit more pressure on us than them.

“Regardless of where we are in the league, we will keep things the same and try to win every game like we always do.”

Rushden & Higham United and Thrapston Town have also made encouraging starts to the new season with two wins from three matches so far.

But the Lankies will be looking to bounce back from a 5-0 reverse at Blackstones last weekend when they take on Olney Town at Hayden Road on Saturday.

Thrapston, meanwhile, head to Northampton Spencer on the back of a 2-0 success at Stewarts & Lloyds.

The Corby side will be aiming to halt a run of three successive defeats when they face Potton United at Occupation Road while Burton Park Wanderers travel to Buckingham Town.

Rothwell Corinthians, who were beaten 4-2 at Raunds last time out, are on the road again at Woodford United on Saturday.

And Irchester United are also on their travels at St Neots Town Saints.