We will all be chasing sports, says S&L joint-manager Cairns

Irchester United boss Steve Sargent saw his team's good start to the new season continue with a 3-1 win at Rushden & Higham in midweek
Irchester United boss Steve Sargent saw his team's good start to the new season continue with a 3-1 win at Rushden & Higham in midweek

Stewarts & Lloyds go into this weekend top of ChromaSport & Trophies UCL Division One.

But joint-boss John Cairns doesn’t reckon they will stay there.

The Foundrymen welcome Raunds Town to Occupation Road on Saturday having dropped just two points in their opening six games.

That was against Olney Town last week when Chris Caswell rescued a point with a late leveller to keep S&L top.

But, according to Cairns, there’s only one winner of Division One this season – and it’s not his team.

He said: “From what I’m told, Peterborough Sports are very strong and will run away with the league this season.

“I don’t like saying that, but you have to be realistic.

“This season is all about who finishes behind Peterborough Sports and when we are at full strength, we are as good as Thrapston, Potton, Lutterworth and the other teams who will be up there.”

Being at full-strength isn’t something S&L have been in recent weeks.

Michael Byrne, prolific in the Premier Division for Desborough Town and Sileby Rangers last season, faces another six weeks on the sidelines after damaging ankle ligaments during last month’s win over Whitworth.

Cairns brought Caswell back to Occupation Road from former club Corby Eagles in the summer but he sits out this weekend through suspension.

He marked his debut at Burton Park Wanderers two weeks ago with a goal but was later sent off.

Cairns admits that leaves him short of options up front this weekend and added: “I’ve never known a start to the season like it before.

“Every week we are putting out a different team because players are missing for one reason or another.

“To stay unbeaten in those circumstances is very pleasing.”

The Shopmates head to Occupation Road on the back of a 5-1 defeat at Sports on Tuesday night after they had beaten Bourne Town 5-2 last weekend.

There’s another big local deby at Hayden Road on Saturday as Rushden & Higham take on fellow early high-fliers Thrapston Town.

The Lankies were beaten 3-1 at home by Irchester United, who maintained their impressive start to the new league season, on Wednesday night.

Two goals from Ryan Lovell and another from Sam Dengel sealed the points while Tom Martin scored for Rushden. The Romans are on the road at Oakham United this weekend.

Burton Park Wanderers were beaten 4-0 by Tring Athletic in their FA Vase first qualifying round replay in midweek after they had drawn 0-0 at Latimer Park last weekend.

Wanderers take on Potton United at Latimer Park on Saturday while Whitworth will also have home advantage when they entertain Bourne.