Joint-boss Wayne Abbott is expecting a big reaction from his Rushden & Higham United players when they take on local rivals Raunds Town at Kiln Park on tomorrow (Saturday).
The Lankies are sitting in the lower half of the ChromaSport & Trophies United Counties League Division One table following their 3-0 home defeat to Potton United on Tuesday night, although they did make it through to the third round of the NFA Junior Cup with a 4-1 victory over Towcester Town last weekend.
Abbott admits it has been tough to maintain a “consistent squad” so far this season.
But he is hoping his team can keep up their record of performing well against the sides further up the table when they make the short trip to face the Shopmates, who suffered a 3-0 defeat at fellow high-flyers Bugbrooke on Wednesday night.
“The results speak for themselves really, we take a step forward and then two back,” Abbott said.
“We are struggling with the consistency of the squad, mainly because we haven’t got a reserve team and we are sometimes having to make five or six changes for each game which isn’t helping us.
“We have lost a lot of points when we shouldn’t have done and even on Tuesday we conceded a penalty inside 30 seconds and when you do that it makes things difficult.
“But we have performed well against the top teams. I felt we should have beaten Raunds when we played them earlier in the season.
“A lot of the players from both clubs are friends but that results in plenty of rivalry as well.
“I am expecting a big reaction when we go there on and hopefully we can start the game well and give ourselves a chance.”
Whitworth travel to Blackstones at the weekend having moved up to fourth place with a fine 4-2 victory at Buckingham Town on Wednesday night.
Remy Brittain was the hero for the Flourmen as he hit a hat-trick while Jordan Pendered added the other.
Burton Park Wanderers picked up their sixth point of the season in midweek as Jordan Watt’s goal earned them a 1-1 draw with Bourne Town at Latimer Park.
Wanderers are on home soil again on Saturday but face a tough test against Bugbrooke.
Irchester United, who were edged out 1-0 by a late goal against high-flying Daventry Town in midweek, host struggling Woodford United at Alfred Street while Thrapston – also beaten 1-0 by Oakham United on Tuesday night – are on the road at Melton Town.
Rock-bottom Stewarts & Lloyds, meanwhile, also have an away trip as they head to Buckingham.