Change of approach has helped Shopmates

The Whitworth managerial team face a big game this weekend when they take on Potton United
The Whitworth managerial team face a big game this weekend when they take on Potton United

Raunds Town joint-boss James Le Masurier says the Shopmates have ditched their football principles to stop their slide down the table.

The Shopmates were among the early pacesetters in Division One, but as the conditions have deteriorated, so has their form.

Le Masurier admits he was forced to make changes. And they’ve worked.

His side host Woodford United tomorrow (Saturday) targeting a third straight win following thumping victories over Bourne Town and Oundle, the latter in the NFA Junior Cup.

Le Masurier says his side take plenty of momentum into the game and admitted: “We’ve had to adapt. We play in a different way now.

“We had some good results at the start of the season, but then the pitches became sticky and hard to play on.

“We like to get the ball down and play football, but we’ve had to adapt.

“We’re now becoming a side that can compete in any conditions and when we get our belief back, we will be good enough to beat anyone.”

The Shopmates are currently eighth in the table and Le Masurier says the coming weeks are crucial to his hopes of a top-four finish.

He said: “We have some difficult games over Christmas, some of them away from home in midweek.

“But if we can get through that spell, a top-four finish is still achievable.”

There was another managerial departure in Division One this week as Alex Cross left rock-bottom Stewarts & Lloyds following their 3-1 home loss to Irchester United last weekend – their 19th defeat in as many league matches.

He has been replaced by Andy Norman, whose first game at the helm will be at Thrapston Town.

There is a big game in store for third-placed Whitworth, who travel to Potton United – the team immediately below them in the table.

Rothwell Corinthians, who claimed a fine penalty shoot-out success at Peterborough Sports in the Junior Cup last weekend, are back on the road with a trip to Buckingham Town.