Survival would be a bigger achievement than promotion for top boss Sparrow

Boss Jon Mitchell says Wellingborough Town's clash with fellow strugglers Sileby Rangers this weekend is "massive"
Boss Jon Mitchell says Wellingborough Town's clash with fellow strugglers Sileby Rangers this weekend is "massive"

Shaun Sparrow reckons he will deserve another manager-of-the-year trophy if he keeps Rothwell Corinthians in the ChromaSport & Trophies United Counties League Premier Division.

League officials handed the Sergeants Lawn boss the accolade in 2015 for steering Corinthians into the top flight last season.

They snatched the runners-up spot behind Northampton Spencer with a stunning 15-game unbeaten run towards the end of the campaign.

Sparrow, whose side host Wisbech Town tomorrow (Saturday), joked: “I was hoping for a knighthood, but never mind!

“Seriously, it’s nice for the club’s achievements to be noticed.

“These awards usually go to the teams that run away with the league, so it’s good that what we achieved last season was recognised.

“We won’t win any awards for staying up this season, but for me, that would be a bigger achievement.

“We aren’t at the top of the table this season, but at times this season, I’ve been just as proud of the players as I was last season.

“We have been doing the same things we were doing last season and have proved we can mix it with the big boys in the Premier Division.”

Corinthians proved that much last weekend.

Joe Wright put them ahead at AFC Kempston – Sparrow’s tip for the title – and though the hosts hit back to win 2-1, Rothwell emerged with plenty of credit from the game.

“To say we had them concerned would be an understatement,” said Sparrow.

“And we went there with a less than full-strength squad.

“Their supporters applauded us off the pitch at the end and I’m sure that doesn’t happen every week.”

Sparrow received another boost this week with the news that striker Jordan Henson is staying at the club.

Harborough Town put in seven days for Henson, but he turned down their approach.

Sparrow said: “That’s not the first approach we’ve had for Jordan, but he is Corinthians through and through. He bleeds for us.

“Four or five other players have also been offered money to go elsewhere, but they have all decided to stay.

“That shows this club means something to them.”.

Wellingborough Town boss Jon Mitchell says his side face “a massive six-pointer” at the Dog & Duck tomorrow.

The Doughboys meet Sileby Rangers and both sides need points to haul themselves away from the foot of the table.

Mitchell said: “This is massive.

“We have to take three points. We need to put a bit of distance between ourselves and the teams at the bottom of the table.”

Earlier this season, the Doughboys were 2-1 winners at Sileby.

Mitchell came off the bench with his side 1-0 down to turn the game his side’s way.

And though his team have failed to score in their last four games, Mitchell is confident he won’t be needed this weekend.

He said: “If I have to come on, I will, but I really shouldn’t be needed.

“We have a lot of firepower up front and when our luck in front of goal changes, we are going to give someone a hammering.”

The Doughboys’ latest blank came at AFC Kempston Rovers two weeks ago.

“We were unlucky,” Mitchell added.

“The goal they scored was clearly off side and we were all over them. We just couldn’t put the ball the net.”

Desborough Town go looking for a fourth straight win at Harrowby United tomorrow.

And if Jason Turner is in the line up, Ar Tarn look likely to keep picking up points!

Boss Chris Bradshaw said: “Jason says he hasn’t lost a game he’s started since December 2014.

“That’s some record.

“He was with AFC Rushden & Diamonds last season when they won the Premier Division and started this season with AFC Kempston Rovers.”

Turner has brought his Midas touch to Waterworks Field – netting twice in his opening three games – and Bradshaw said: “Jason gives us a lot more than goals.

“He’s also a great talker and because the opposition defenders are thinking about him, it gives freedom to other players like Jake Bettles.

“Jake has benefited from having Jason alongside him and has been banging the goals in.”

Bradshaw also says Dan Grainger has “done exceptionally well” since joining the club and hasn’t ruled out bringing in more players.

“I feel I’m nearly there,” he said.

“I’m probably one or two players short of where I’d like to be and I’m still looking but I’m in no rush to bring anyone in.”