Wayne Abbott believes Rushden & Higham United are “on the up” after two fine away wins this week extended their impressive unbeaten run.
The Lankies produced a stunning fightback in Division One of the Future Lions United Counties League last weekend as they battled back from 3-1 down at half-time to thrash Aylestone Park 8-3 thanks to braces from Dylan Wilson, Jory Mann, Jamie Mastropierro and further efforts from Nat Gosnal-Tyler and Jordan Pendered.
And they followed that up with a 3-1 success at another team above them in the table, Sileby Rangers, with Gosnal-Tyler, Mann and Wilson on target again.
Abbott’s team are now unbeaten in their last seven matches in all competitions, although their fine form has only seen them rise to 10th in the table.
The Lankies boss believes that just shows how strong Division One is this season and he insists his team’s main aim now is to continue a run in the NFA Junior Cup.
Abbott takes his team to Irchester United for a local derby on Boxing Day (11am kick-off) before they head to Northants Combination Premier Division high-flyers Kettering Nomads in the last eight of the Junior Cup on January 5.
He said: “We are definitely on the up.
“We had a bad start and there were a few signings who weren’t in it for the team and it took a while to filter that out.
“I think we are team that just works really hard. We have beaten the likes of Melton, Aylestone Park and Sileby and I don’t think they quite expected us to work as hard as we did and that is credit to the lads.
“I looked at our stats and this time last season we were second and we only had one win more than we have got this season.
“That just shows you how strong this league is now.
“There are teams who have budgets and the Leicestershire clubs who have come into it and they have a much bigger catchment area to choose from than us.
“The strength of this division now has made it feel like we were all promoted to a higher level last season and if we are to compete in the future then we will need some sort of budget or we will have to look closer at player recruitment.
“But I am really happy with what we are doing. And the fact the league is already so stretched makes the Junior Cup become paramount.
“We have got to go to Kettering Nomads, which will be extremely difficult and we will have to get our mindset right for it.”
This weekend's Future Lions United Counties League fixtures
Premier Division: Cogenhoe v Rothwell Corinthians, Daventry Town v Kirby Muxloe, Deeping v Pinchbeck, Desborough v Boston Town, Holbeach v Eynesbury, Leicester Nirvana v Harborough, Newport Pagnell v ON Chenecks, Oadby v Whitworth, Sleaford v Peterborough Northern Star, Wellingborough Town v Rugby.
Division One: Birstall United v Harrowby, Bourne v Melton, Bugbrooke v Lutterworth Town, Holwell Sports v Blackstones, Huntingdon v Burton Park Wanderers, Irchester v Aylestone Park, Raunds v Thrapston, St Andrews v Anstey Nomads