Raunds boss Jim targeting some Junior Cup success

Thrapston Town manager Ian Walker
Thrapston Town manager Ian Walker

Unbeaten in UCL Division One so far this season, Raunds Town return to action this weekend as they play their NFA Junior Cup first-round clash with Netherton United at Kiln Park.

And joint-manager Jim Le Masurier knows the competition represents their best chance of picking up some silverware this season, although he is taking nothing for granted

The Shopmates have enjoyed a superb start to the ChromaSport & Trophies United Counties League Division One season.

They are unbeaten after nine league games and sit in a very healthy sixth place.

Some of Raunds’ league rivals suffered upsets in the Junior Cup last weekend with Irchester, Thrapston and Rothwell Corinthians all being beaten by teams from a lower level.

And while their departures from the competition may have increased others’ hopes of going on a good run, Le Masurier knows from past experience that nothing can be taken for granted.

“I have been there before,” Le Masurier said.

“It happened to us when I was at Thrapston and it was Netherton who beat us that day.

“We have been playing well and I am sure most would expect us to go through.

“But anything can happen and Netherton will come here and make life very difficult for us.

“For us, when we look at what silverware is available throughout the season, this looks like being our best opportunity. We haven’t been in the FA Cup or FA Vase this season so we see this as a good chance for us to have a run in a cup competition.”

There is also plenty of UCL Division One action tomorrow (Saturday) with the highlight being a local derby at London Road as Whitworth, who were beaten 5-3 at Blackstones last weekend, entertain Rothwell Corinthians.

New Corinthians boss Shaun Sparrow saw his team beaten on penalties by AFC Rushden & Diamonds Under-21s in the first round of the NFA Junior Cup last weekend after the two teams has been all-square at 2-2 after 120 minutes.

Thrapston Town were also on the end of an upset in the Junior Cup as they lost 3-1 at home to Stanion Redstar. Ian Walker’s team will be looking to hit back when they make the trip to Olney Town.

Irchester United claimed a good point in a 1-1 draw at Northampton Spencer in midweek but are still chasing their first league win of the season as they go to Blackstones.

Rushden & Higham, meanwhile, will be looking to add to Bourne’s recent misery when the two sides meet at Hayden Road.

Aidy Mann’s team lost 1-0 at home to Lutterworth Athletic last weekend. But it was even worse for Bourne as they went down 10-0 at leaders Oadby Town.