Bourne Town 4 Raunds Town 0

Monday 2nd January 2012
Bourne Town 4 Raunds Town 0
ChromaSport & Trophies United Counties League Division 1
At: The Abbey Lawn
Kick-off: 3-00 pm
Admission: £4
Weather: sunny though cold in the shade
Attendance: 72
Duration: first-half: 47:55; second-half: 47:55

I decided to head further away from home into Lincolnshire after the Rushden & Highham game and made the 46-mile journey to Bourne for the second leg of today’s ‘double’. Like Hayden Road, Bourne’s Abbey Lawn ground also boasts character with the old-style stand. Unlike the recent UCL Division 1 games I’ve seen, this one pitted two sides in the lower half of the table and Bourne ended a run of six winless games with an emphatic 4-0 victory. Jason Kilbridge scored twice during the opening nine minutes and substitute Glenn Spearink also bagged a brace in the second half. Both sides were evenly matched except for Bourne’s clinical finishing. Former Stafford Rangers Stripes midfielder Fernand Bass played for the visitors, though I wasn’t aware of this until later checking spellings of some the names in the Raunds squad.

Finding the Abbey Lawn should have been simple but, without any homework or a map, I certainly made it difficult for myself. I even parked up in the correct place before deciding something wasn’t right and drove around for five minutes ending up on Coggles Causeway. Thankfully a pedestrian suggested returning to where I’d previously been! So, from the centre of Bourne, take the A151 (signed Spalding) next to the Nags Head into Abbey Road then park-up on the right opposite and along from the Marquis of Granby. At the far end of the long parking bay, walk through the gates into the park to the ground entrance.

The Abbey Lawn is certainly full of character with a seated stand on halfway down the left-hand touchline and nearer area of covered standing. Certainly a place I’d recommend gets added to a bucket list of ‘grounds to do’.

Bourne Town (15th with 18 points from 12 games) were a long-standing United Counties League Premier Division club from 1972 to 2010 when they were demoted to Division 1 because the Abbey lawn failed to meet Grade F standard. Visitors Raunds Town (12th with 18 points from 16 games) had four seasons Southern League before returning to the United Counties League in 2000 and they suffered further relegation to Division 1 at the end of last season.

Line-ups and match officials were written on a white board displayed near to the refreshments hatch.

Just like Rushden & Higham a few hours earlier, this game also began in winter sunshine with Bourne kicking off attacking the far end (left to right in relation to the side opposite the stand).

It was the home side that broke the deadlock in the 6th minute. Andy Moss crossed from the right and Jason Kilbride stooped at the near post to head home past Raunds keeper Michael Freeman.

Bourne (in all claret) doubled their lead three minutes later. Martin Brown brought down Steve Mastin inside the area and Kilbride converted the resulting penalty to score his second goal of the game.

“Bourne, great start – all of us, well done!” and it really was a great start for the homesters, especially when Jake Mason soon fired just over the bar.

Naturally, Raunds were told that they “need to wake up”.

Chances continued to be created and Andy Moss fed Jake Mason on the right inside the area. The striker rounded Freeman and got in a narrow-angled shot which Marc Harrison cleared via the bar.

Raunds enjoyed a good spell after the half hour mark. Marc Harrison sent a left-foot free-kick wide of the near post and a rising 35-yard drive from Tristan Clarke was held by the diving Bourne keeper Matt Gilson.

“Raunds, looking better,” and John Gull hit a low long-range left-foot shot just past the right-hand post with Gilson scrambling across.

The visitors nearly pulled a goal back in stoppage time., Karl King saw a shot blocked from Marc Harrison’s long throw and Eddy Zacharius’ follow-up was deflected for a corner.

Even though Bourne were two goals up, I felt the first half was an pretty even contest. Alas, no luck with the raffle again and, for a quick warm, I popped into the Len Pick Suite (Wakes Club) before returning to the stand for the second half with another tea and chocolate bar in hand.

Now attacking the far end, Raunds created an early chance at the start of the second half. Gull aimed a low diagonal ball to the far post but unmarked Zacharius couldn’t make contact for would have seen a simple tap-in.

Quickly responding, Mastin fed Kilbride who went for goal to try and complete a hat-trick but only succeeded in driving over the bar.

The Bourne bench was concerned, however, which prompted calls for the side to “get ’em picked up”.

Just before the hour mark, Gilson parried a rising shot by Gull from Clarke’s pass.

The home side survived an added a vital third goal in the 63rd minute. Substitute Glenn Spearink evaded the tackle of Marc Harrison and carried the ball into the area before confidently firing past Freeman.

There still wasn’t a lot between the teams, in my opinion, other than Bourne’s finishing and the Wakes added a fourth goal in the 73rd minute. Alec Robinson fed Spearink who took the ball forward before firing past the helpless Freeman to score his third league goal of the season.

Freeman did well to prevent Bourne from adding a fifth goal during the final 10 minutes. He blocked an initial shot by Mastin and parried a follow-up shot from the same striker after the loose ball wasn’t cleared.

Bourne moved up one place over Northampton ON Chenecks, who lost 5-0 at home to leaders Harborough and, as I said, I’d recommend adding the Abbey Lawn to a bucket list of ‘grounds to do’.

Bourne Town (claret/claret/claret): 1. Matt Gilson, 2. John Curran, 3. Tom Cardall, 4. Andy Moss, 5. Dan Smith (capt), 6. Aaron Jesson, 7. Dan Mason, 8. Seb Hodd, 9. Jake Mason, 10. Steve Mastin, 11. Jason Kilbride. Subs: 12. Glenn Spearink (for Mason, 56), 14. Alex Brockbank (not used), 15. Ashley Firth (not used), 16. Craig Rook (for Mason, 81), 17. Alec Robinson (for Hodd, 69).

Raunds Town (sky blue and white stripes / sky blue / sky blue): 1. Michael Freeman, 2. Connor Montone, 3. Martin Brown, 4. Tristan Clarke, 5. Darren Capps, 6. Marc Harrison, 7. Fernand Bass, 8. John Gull, 9. Nick Harrison, 10. Karl King, 11. Eddy Zacharius. Subs: 12. Nat Gosnal-Tyler (for Zacharius, 53), 14. Simon Duggan (for Brown, 53), 15. Ryan Asher-Powell (for Bass, 73), 16. B. Sandhu (not used).

Referee: Neil Smith.
Assistants: Dave Rimmer and Thomas Woolley.

1-0 Jason Kilbride (6)
2-0 Jason Kilbridge (9 pen)
3-0 Glenn Spearink (63)
4-0 Glenn Spearink (73)

Bourne: none
Raunds: Tristan Clarke (YC, 89)