NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: First goals lead to first win as Huntingdon Town open their account at the expense of a former boss

Huntingdon Town striker James Wills scored both goals as they beat Raunds Town.

Huntingdon Town striker James Wills scored both goals as they beat Raunds Town. - Credit: Archant

It was a Saturday afternoon of firsts for Huntingdon Town.

A first victory of the United Counties League Division One season – and of player-boss Daniel Woodhead’s reign – was gained thanks to their first goals of the new term after three previous blanks.

Striker James Wills was the man to find the net with two smart finishes in the space of six minutes towards the end of the first half of a 2-1 triumph against Raunds Town – a side managed by ex-Town chief Bob Warby and also without a point - at Jubilee Park.

Wills tucked away debutant Sheldon Washington’s pass to open the scoring and then buried a low Tiago Dias cross to double the advantage.

Dias had earlier seen a fierce shot tipped onto the bar as Town bossed the opening half before Raunds controlled long periods of the second period.

They halved the deficit late on through former Huntingdon youngster Ben Page, but Town held on to claim the points.

“It was a very good day for us,” said Woodhead, who was pressed into action in the centre of defence alongside new recruit Macauley Clark. “It’s important to get the first win on the board.

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“We hit the bar before we got the goals and created more chances on Saturday than in the previous three games put together.

“I told the lads at half-time to make sure they didn’t become complacent as the game wasn’t won. We got pushed back at times by Raunds and we had to survive a nervy final 10 minutes after they got a goal back, but we managed to grind it out.

“I’m still trying to work out how we didn’t actually put the game to bed as James had a couple of great chances on the break as Raunds went for it, but we did enough to win it.

“It was an important game for the club being up against one of their former managers and some ex-players in the Raunds team, and it’s great to get our season going.

“We saw it as a good chance to get our first win, but we knew Raunds would view us in the same way.

“The lads were told beforehand that we had to up our level of performance and I was very pleased with what they gave me.

“We can now go into the FA Vase game this Saturday with confidence and enjoy the challenge of playing a higher-level team.”

Huntingdon host Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division outfit Wroxham in the first qualifying round of the Vase.