So, to the ground. Raunds play at Kiln Park which is literally a stones throw from the A45 and right on the exit for Raunds itself. There is a large car park in front of the clubhouse and stadium which looks like it would provide ample parking for the majority of games. Entrance to the stadium itself is to the left of the clubhouse through a single turnstile.
All of the facilities are on the car park side of the stadium. Most of this side of the ground has covering of some sort with relatively large covered seating area and several covered standing areas. The snack bar can be found almost on the halfway line and is part of the clubhouse and changing room complex. The dugouts are directly opposite the main stand backed by a row of trees that runs the full length of that side of the pitch. Both ends behind the goals are open.
With just two points and a few league places between the teams at kick off there was plenty at stake apart from local pride. The game started accordingly with both sides immediately taking advantage of the slick surface to get some early tackles in. There was also no lack of attacking intent from either team. Within the first 5 minutes of kick-off both sides had fashioned very good chances to take the lead but a misplaced header from Raunds and a decent save from the home keeper kept the score to 0-0.
On 14 minutes, and slightly against the run of play, Raunds took the lead. A low left wing cross evaded everyone before falling to Cameron Penny who controlled the ball before slotting it past the Whitworth keeper.
The goal didn't really alter the balance of play. The Flourmen, playing with the slope in their favour, were having more of the ball but were lacking any kind on incision in the last third. The tackles from both sides continued to fly though with a the referee flashing a few yellows here and there. Just past the half-hour mark it all boiled over on the far side of the pitch. A few players squared up to each other with some, unnecessarily, making 30 yards runs to join in. From the other side of the pitch it looked as if at least one player threw a punch, but the referee obviously didn't see it that was and only issued a couple more yellows.
There was no more scoring the half and the referee blew for the end of a tetchy first-half. At this point I think many people in the ground would have put a few quid on there being a red card in the second-half, especially as there had already been at least five bookings.
As it turned out though, the second half was an entirely more sedate affair. Maybe the teams had both had a talking to at half-time or maybe the 15 minute break had just allowed tempers to die down a little. Either way there was a noticeable absence of 50-50s or niggle in the second half.
Karl King sprung the offside trap and slipped the ball into the corner of the net.
From that point onwards, despite a lot of effort, the game began to fizzle out. One or two of the Wellingborough team, most noticeably their number 10 in midfield, did their utmost to drive the team on but, in all honesty, they never really looked like scoring on the night. So, Raunds picked up a very useful and fairly comfortable 3 points catapulting themselves into seventh spot in the league.
Both side have a break from league action at the weekend with home ties against lower ranked opposition in the Northamptonshire Junior Cup.
Raunds Town - @raundstown_fc
Wellingborough Whitworth - No twitter account that I can find