NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: Whittlesey Athletic are bouncing with confidence after impressive home displays in United Counties League

PUBLISHED: 11:01 13 November 2019

James Hill-Seekings scored Whittlesey Athletic's first goal in their 2-1 win over Raunds Town on Saturday. Picture: IAN CARTER

James Hill-Seekings scored Whittlesey Athletic's first goal in their 2-1 win over Raunds Town on Saturday. Picture: IAN CARTER

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Whittlesey Athletic are well and truly bouncing after impressive home performances of late.

After their 1-0 win over top six contenders Harrowby United at Feldale Field, they then beat Raunds Town 2-1 on Saturday to drift further away from the United Counties League Division One relegation zone.

A rejuvenated second-half showing saw Whittlesey climb to 15th and notch a third home league win against tricky opponents, and player-manager Ricky Hailstone feels it was the right result.

"We rode our luck for the first half-hour, but we came out the other side," Hailstone said.

"Credit to Raunds, they got out the blocks quicker than we did and I thought they wanted it more in the first half-hour.

"The first half-an-hour was rubbish, (but) we got back to where we were (vs Harrowby) and that's more of the levels we expect.

"I thought we dominated the second-half and should have scored more than two.

"It was the right result in the end."

Striker James Hill-Seekings chipped the hosts in front on 52 minutes, before Ollie Long's effort straight from a corner sealed victory after absorbing a great deal of first-half pressure.

Ethan Goodman temporarily hauled the visitors level, but despite this, Hailstone was pleased with his side's response on a bitterly cold afternoon.

"We defended fairly well first-half, even though we were under the cosh," he said.

"We needed to put Raunds under pressure in their half, we get a couple of goals and we look like a lot better side.

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"When you're coming against teams around you, at home, you've got to try and pick up points.

"We've conceded enough goals this year to know that when we concede, we're going to bounce back, and luckily we did."

Whittlesey travel to fifth-placed St Andrews this Saturday (3pm), who were without a fixture last weekend, but the Fenland outfit should be bolstered by a healthier-looking squad.

"We had seven missing, and hopefully we've got at least six or seven back, so we go with a much stronger squad, which you need to have for away games," Hailstone added.

"We'll just try to continue doing what we're doing."

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