A tough draw but Sargent has faith in his Romans

Action from Stewarts & Lloyds' 3-1 win over Rushden & Higham in the UCL Division One last Saturday
Action from Stewarts & Lloyds' 3-1 win over Rushden & Higham in the UCL Division One last Saturday

Irchester United head to holders ON Chenecks in the NFA Junior Cup tomorrow (Saturday).

Chenecks lifted the trophy last season with a shock win over Northampton Spencer in the final and Romans boss Steve Sargent admits: “We could have had an easier draw.”

But he added: “I have so much faith in the players and whoever we play in this league, I believe we have a chance.”

The Romans are currently seventh in UCL Division One after finishing 15th last season.

This season Sargent has assistants Ben Thomas, Anthony Sharp, Matty Freeman and Chris Line to working alongside him.

He said: “At Spencer last season, I took the warm up, did the medicals, filled the water bottles, gave the team talk - and we lost 5-0.

“Spencer had a full dug out and I thought: ‘I’m doing this wrong’.

“There are five of us now and we can do so much more with the players.

“We are always bouncing ideas off each other and it seems to be working. We have to be happy with where we are.

“Irchester are never usually around the top six at any stage of the season, but we are there now because we’ve beaten some good teams.”

Sargent took positives from last week’s defeat at Potton United.

He said: “Potton are a good side and if it hadn’t been for a defensive error, we would have got a point.

“I was really happy with the performance and it just shows how far we’ve come.”

Following this weekend’s cup tie, the Romans have four home league games in a row.

Sargent said: “We are well placed, but I’m not making predictions or setting targets.

“All that does is put pressures on the players.

“We’re just going to keep picking up as many points as we can.”.

Elsewhere in the Junior Cup this weekend, there is a local derby at Occupation Road as Stewarts & Lloyds take on Northants Combination Premier Division side Stanion United.

The Combination also provides opponents for Burton Park Wanderers, who travel to Heyford, Raunds Town, who entertain Moulton and Thrapston Town, who host James King Blisworth.

Whitworth also have home advantage as they take on Potterspury.

Having already been knocked out of the Junior Cup, Rushden & Higham United take on in-form Potton United in Division One with third place awaiting the winners.