Watts is ready for the challenge at Raunds

Action from Raunds Town's NFA Junior Cup clash with Daventry Town Reserves last weekend. The Shopmates are now under new management after Ben Watts was appointed this week
Action from Raunds Town's NFA Junior Cup clash with Daventry Town Reserves last weekend. The Shopmates are now under new management after Ben Watts was appointed this week

Ben Watts is looking forward to the challenge of trying to change the fortunes of Raunds Town.

It’s been a miserable campaign so far for the Shopmates as they have lost all 10 of their Future Lions United Counties League Division One fixtures.

And last weekend, they were knocked out of the NFA Junior Cup in a penalty shoot-out after their second-round clash with Daventry Town Reserves ended in a 1-1 draw.

Former Wellingborough Town and Rothwell Corinthians boss Watts has now been confirmed as the new Shopmates manager.

And, despite the precarious situation he has inherited, he is hopeful of turning things around - starting at Bourne Town this weekend.

“I have been coaching at a decent level but I have been wanting to get back into management,” said Watts, who has been assistant-manager at Eynesbury Rovers and a first-team coach at St Neots Town in recent times.

“This opportunity came along and I am looking forward to it.

“It’s a challenge and it’s not just the first-team that needs to turn its fortunes around, it’s the reserves, the youth team and the club as a whole.

“And I am hopeful that we have already started that work. I took training on Tuesday and I understand numbers haven’t been great but we had a good turnout with familiar and new faces.

“There were smiles on faces and that’s what we want to see.

“It’s almost a case of having nothing to lose from my point of view but the club want results.

“I’d like to think we have got a chance of picking up some points at the weekend but everyone knows it won’t be a quick fix.

“But it is still close down at the bottom and that was another reason why I took it on, there’s still plenty of time to turn it around.

“Hopefully that will start this weekend. I gave the players an idea of how we will approach the game and they seemed to take it on board. We will find out if that’s the case at 5pm tomorrow (Saturday).”

The only midweek action involving a local club was in UCL Division One as Irchester United suffered a 2-0 defeat to Long Buckby at Alfred Street on Tuesday night.

This weekend's fixtures

Future Lions United Counties League

Premier Division: Deeping v ON Chenecks, Desborough v Peterborough Northern Star, Kirby Muxloe v Boston Town, Newport Pagnell v Holbeach, Oadby v Daventry Town, Pinchbeck v Harborough, Rothwell Corinthians v Leicester Nirvana, Rugby v Whitworth, Sleaford v Eynesbury, Wellingborough Town v Cogenhoe.

Division One: Aylestone Park v Anstey Nomads, Bourne v Raunds, Bugbrooke v Irchester, Holwell Sports v Birstall United, Lutterworth Athletic v Blackstones, Lutterworth Town v Harrowby, St Andrews v Huntingdon, Thrapston v Sileby Rangers.

NFA Junior Cup

Second round: ON Chenecks Res v Rothwell Corinthians Res, Peterborough Northern Star v Blisworth, Whitworth Res v Burton Park Wanderers.