Whitworth’s credentials will be tested again by rivals Raunds

Action from Whitworth's 3-0 defeat at Daventry Town last weekend
Action from Whitworth's 3-0 defeat at Daventry Town last weekend

There’s plenty at stake at Kiln Park this weekend as local rivals Raunds Town and Whitworth collide in the ChromaSport & Trophies United Counties League Division One.

The Flourmen have four games left to try to earn promotion to the Premier Division but their quest hit a bump in the road last weekend when they were beaten 3-0 by leaders Daventry Town.

With second-placed Bugbrooke also winning, it means Whitworth now trail them by three points but with two games in hand.

Tomorrow’s (Saturday) clash with the Shopmates is the first of those but they will be up against a home side who are unbeaten in five matches.

And while Raunds boss James Le Masurier clearly has a lot of respect for what has been achieved down the road by James Mallows and his team, he is keen to 
keep the momentum going 
all the way until May 2 when they take on James King Blisworth in the NFA Junior Cup final at Sixfields.

“I guess it’s more important to Whitworth, they need the win,” Le Masurier said.

“But we have got our own reasons for wanting to win. We want to finish the season as strongly as possible, we are unbeaten in five matches and we want to try to keep that going up until the Junior Cup final.

“It’s set up for a good game. Whitworth have been the best performing team from this area this season and that is testament to Marshy (Mallows) and his players.

“They are probably the best team in the league going forward and it will be up to us to try to stop them.

“For me, it’s another game that is no different to any other.

“But a lot of the players obviously know each other and the matches we have in the past have been fiery encounters.

“If we put in the sort of performance I know we are capable of then I will be happy.

“Hopefully that will be enough to take something from the game but if we play to our best and are beaten by the better team then so be it.”

Just two other local clubs are in action this weekend.

It may only be the first Saturday of April but the season comes to an end for Rushden & Higham United as they play their final game of the campaign at Blackstones.

The Lankies, who won 3-1 at Burton Park Wanderers last weekend, will finish in 16th place in the table regardless of how they get on in their last match of the season.

Thrapston Town, meanwhile, will be looking to make it three wins in a row as they make the tough trip to Potton United. Thrapston have enjoyed back-to-back 1-0 victories over Woodford United and Bourne Town in the past couple of weeks.