Reorganised Raunds aiming to upset the Diamonds

Will Raunds have reason to celebrate this weekend when they host AFC Rushden & Diamonds?
Will Raunds have reason to celebrate this weekend when they host AFC Rushden & Diamonds?

Russ Baxter believes that Raunds have the ability to get the better of AFC Rushden & Diamonds this weekend.

The promotion-chasing Diamonds visit Kiln Park on Saturday in UCL Division One with the form book suggesting that the hosts will have their work cut out.

The Shopmates are without a win in six while the Diamonds have won six of their last seven.

But joint-boss Baxter is optimistic that his side can bring an end to their barren spell.

He said: “We’ll give them the respect they deserve because they’re a good side.

“But we’ve watched them a couple of times and I think there are things we can exploit.

“We’ll prepare as normal and we just need to knuckle down and get on with it.”

Injuries haven’t helped Raunds’ cause this campaign and Baxter admitted that a shuffling of the pack has been necessary.

He added: “We’ve had a run of injuries including losing most of our midfield and they are long-term ones with the lads unlikely to play again this season.

“So we’ve had to reorganise to sort things out, we’ve recruited a couple of players, and we have to keep doing which is exactly what we’ll do.”

Elsewhere in the second tier, Rothwell Corinthians will be looking to build on last weekend’s excellent Junior Cup defeat of high-flying Sileby Rangers when they travel to ON Chenecks.

Rushden & Higham, who also progressed to the last four of the Junior Cup, host Olney at Hayden Road, Whitworth are at home with Potton the visitors to London Road, Thrapston entertain Bugbrooke St Michaels at Chancery Lane and Burton Park Wanderers, without a league win sine September 22, welcome league leaders Sileby to Latimer Park.

In the Premier Division, S&L Corby go in search of a second straight victory when they visit Blackstones.

Last weekend’s 2-0 defeat of Irchester was The Romans’ first win in 11 games.

Irchester are now eight points adrift at the foot of the table and they face Boston on Saturday.

Wellingborough looked to have turned a corner with their last two outings netting a six-point haul and they host eighth-placed Desborough at the Dog & Duck.