Diamonds have a cracking looking game against unbeaten table topping Moneyfields at Hayden Road on Saturday….and Toffee Apples are on offer for kids…. what’s not to love!!
(Update – The departure of Nabil Shariff obviously is what’s not to love. Announced after I published this preview. A massive blow for Diamonds to try and replicate the goals, the style of play and the commitment of Nabs but a brilliant opportunity for him that he richly deserves. Radio Diamonds wishes him all the best at Alfreton and look forward to seeing how Diamonds adapt with the great forward players they still have at the club)
Our Portsmouth based opponents are an exciting side who gained promotion from the Wessex league last season and have re-enforced their place amongst the pre-season title favourites winning 9 of their 12 games and remaining unbeaten into November. They are the 2nd highest goal scorers (to Ashton Town who Diamonds also play this month) and have conceded the 2nd lowest number of goals – Diamonds have conceded fewest!!
Moneyfields will have faced their longest away trip of the year coming up from Portsmouth on Saturday so we hope they enjoy their day. They have managed an impressive 6 wins out of 6 down in Hampshire but 3 draws on the road show they can be competed with on their travels. They have conceded 2 on their travels twice but back to back away clean sheets and 7 goals in their last 2 home games show they are a form side worthy of top of the table.
Radio Diamonds will be covering the game of course and the twitter feed will be going 10 to the dozen if you can’t make the game but the best place to be by far will be down at Hayden Road enjoying the action live.
Kids get a free Toffee Apple on Saturday to get the bonfire night celebrations started early and there are some great new products in the club shop to look at including new style Hoodies and Sweatshirts that I already have my eye on.
The Burger Monster will be rocking his fabulous menu, Dales’ Bar will be dispensing Harts Brewery real ale and there will be great music playing as the excitement of the big game builds. Where else would you want to be on a November afternoon?
For Diamonds it’s a return to action after an 11 day break since that impressive 5-0 victory against Barton Rovers. That win was a return to form overall after the narrow defeat at Hayes & Yeading and at home after no wins in the previous 3 at Hayden Road. It also saw Nabil Shariff return to the league goal scoring column with his first since August (update – and his last for the club of course) and Ben Farrell continuing his goal scoring purple patch with 2 to add to the 2 scored at Marlow the previous Tuesday.
Diamonds sit in 5th place in the league with 22 points and are amongst a group of 9 teams with between 20 and 23 points. Moneyfields are top with 30 so the other 8 teams will all be rooting for Diamonds to help close that gap on Saturday.
Today’s game will almost certainly be the highest crowd Moneyfields have played in front of this season as home attendances are in the 100 to 150 range in the league, they saw 185 in the FA Trophy and played in front of 199 in the Southern League Cup at local Portsmouth area rivals Gosport.
There is every chance of Diamonds drawing over 500 for the third time in the league this season on Saturday especially with Toffee Apples on offer. With 5 league games and two home cup-ties this month and 5 league games to play in December we are entering a busy period and one that will go a long way to deciding whereabouts in the table sides are likely to finish this season.
The fans will be vitally important on Saturday to create that brilliant big game Hayden Road atmosphere. Top of the table unbeaten Moneyfields and a toffee apple are surely the best incentive to get down Hayden road. It should be a cracker.
Enjoy the game.