Bourne Town failed to take advantage of Raunds Town’s 5-1 home defeat the previous week with a disappointing display at the Abbey Lawn.
Two goals in a three-minute spell in the first half effectively sealed a win on the road for the Shopmates who completed a double over the Wakes after a 5-2 home victory in September.
This is the poorest we’ve been for 90 minutes and it’s disappointing to lose in the manner that we didBourne Town manager Steve Wilson
Bourne boss Steve Wilson made two changes from the side that drew 3-3 at Stewarts & Lloyds Corby last Tuesday as Aaron Jesson replaced Sam Makepeace-Beech in defence while Sam Wilson was recalled in place of Dan Smith.
But after almost a quarter of an hour where both teams measured each other up, Raunds attacked down the right from where Jamie Russell crossed, only for midfielder Josh Davis to fire over from 15 yards.
The Shopmates did take the lead on 17 minutes when a through-ball split the Wakes’ defence, allowing striker Nick Harrison to latch onto the ball and round keeper Alex Brown before slotting home.
A lack of concentration saw Bourne go 2-0 down three minutes later when Tobi Looker’s left-wing cross was headed onto the bar by Harrison and Karl King reacted first to convert the rebound.
The home fans waited almost half an hour for an effort on goal through teenage sensation Zak Munton who shook off his marker and let fly from 20 yards, only to see it curl away from Sammy Cobley’s goal.
Raunds could have been 4-0 up at half-time as Charlie Fowler fired wide from another Looker cross and then Rick Chambers headed Russell’s corner towards goal with Brown making a comfortable catch.
In the second half, Bourne were allowed to have more possession without ever threatening the Shopmates’ goal and on 56 minutes, holding midfielder Kieran Blanchard could have pulled a goal back if his 12-yard shot when picking up a loose ball wans’t deflected wide.
Harrison almost made it three just before the hour mark when he shot just the wrong side of Brown’s post.
But the end did come with 20 minutes to go when Russell tapped in at the far post to settle the contest.
Substitute Chris Jones thought he had made it four when his header struck the crossbar and bounced down, but the assistant referee ruled that it hadn’t in fact crossed the line.
There was even time for a miss of the match with three minutes left when Wakes substitute Jake Mason side-footed a Tyler Sculthorpe pass wide of goal from 10 yards out, with the Raunds keeper beaten.
After the game, Wilson pulled no punches in admitting that his side were well below their best against Raunds.
In a match where the number of chances for Bourne were in single figures, Wilson knew his side had let themselves down against physically stronger opponents.
Wilson said: “It’s the worst we’ve been all season, individually we were poor and when you’re like that, you’ll never get a good performance.
“They were two soft goals to give away in the first half and as poor as we were, we have to defend better.
“There was nothing exceptional about Raunds’ play leading up to the goals, but we were lucky not to concede more.
“In previous games, we’ve had a bad first 45 minutes and then responded well in the second half.
“But this is the poorest we’ve been for 90 minutes and it’s disappointing to lose in the manner that we did.”
Wakes striker Zak Munton had little chance of adding to his nine-goal tally this season after a lack of service, with Raunds doing a successful job of putting a lock on Bourne’s adventures from midfield.
But Wilson wasn’t of a mind to lay into his young squad and explained: “The players are all still learning and we had two players missing from the Stewarts & Lloyd Corby game, with Aaron Jesson coming in at centre-half and doing reasonably well.
“But the players are at the point where there are no excuses and they are better than what they showed on Saturday.”
Wilson has the week to rebuild confidence before visiting fourth-placed Potton United on Saturday with a determination to carry on building on last season’s tenth-placed finish under predecessor Rafa Mazzarella.