10th league game….and we go National!!

Diamonds play their 10th league game of the campaign on Saturday in what is the second half of October. More FA Cup heroics and a forced re-arrangement to play a Hillier Cup tie have left Diamonds behind the pack in Northern Premier League Division one South.

Only Stamford who have brilliantly made it to FA Cup 1st round proper to take on Hartlepool United, and Lincoln United have played less games. Diamonds have between 1 and 4 games in hand on the teams above them and won’t really start making that up for a while with the games against Rugby (November) and Witton Albion (March) re-arranged but the game at Leek Town yet to find a slot.

You’ll notice that all the re-arranged games are away matches which is why Diamonds will have played just 3 away from home in those first 10 after Saturday.

Basford United are visiting the Dog & Duck for the third time on Saturday but the first in a league game. Diamonds won an FA Vase tie 5-3 in November 2012, and Basford United won a League Cup tie last season by 3-1.

Both sides have moved up the league structure and from different leagues to find themselves in the same division for the first time.  With Basford in 7th and Diamonds in 12th separated by just 3 points it’s going to be another competitive encounter.

Manager Andy Peaks was looking like getting back towards a fullish squad of his most experienced players after Liam Dolman, Jack Ashton and Richard Bunting returned in recent games, but the suspension of Rory Winters, and injury to Richard Bunting on Tuesday night is another set-back.

Lewis Wilson has slotted in superbly in his two substitute appearances notching his first goal on Tuesday night and might be in contention to start on Saturday. But Nabil Shariff, Taylor Orosz, Tom Lorraine and Nic Evangelinos are in good goal scoring and assisting form so it will be a tough call to choose the forward line.

I’m really looking forward to Community Day at the Dog & Duck and seeing the youngsters enjoying the match day experience on Pay What You Want day. It should be a healthy crowd to see if Diamonds can make it 8 league games unbeaten since those opening two defeats.

Radio Diamonds has an exciting day too as NonLeagueLive who usually do match commentary on a non league game somewhere in the country every week have chosen to take our commentary live for the Basford game. It will bring our coverage to wider “national” audience which will be great for the club. We’ll just have to keep the references to Wolves and American Basketball/Baseball/Football to a minimum!!

Enjoy the game

Paul Judd

Radio Diamonds

Beside the seaside…. beside the sea!!

It’s a fabulous late summer trip to the seaside for Diamonds on Saturday as they travel down to Canvey Island to take on Concord Rangers in FA Cup 2nd qualifying round action.

Well its’ the banks of the Thames Estuary not far from Southend but there is definitely a beach….Concord beach from which the club takes its name.

Step 2 opponents for Diamonds this time which is the highest level of opponent they have been paired with after Dover Athletic ended their cup dream in their first year in the competition.

That was in the 3rd qualifying round and Diamonds do have a 100% record at the 2nd Qualifying Rounds stage. It was Deeping Rangers away at this stage last season, and that famous Dog and Duck day in 2013 which saw a come from behind win against Cambridge City sealed by my favourite ever commentary moment on Alfie Taylor’s last minute winner.

Diamonds come into the game off the back of a 5 game unbeaten run including two home cup tie wins, a pair of Bank Holiday league wins and that entertaining 3-3 draw last week which saw 2 goals scored past the 93 minute mark!

Concord have had a difficult start to their season and were beaten 1-0 in midweek to return them to the bottom of their league. The previous two games since the FA Cup draw was made had seen a draw and a first victory of the season to lift them off the bottom, but the defeat in midweek meant they had failed to score in any home games this season.

Our spy on the south coast and fellow Radio Diamonds presenter Doug Palmer has seen some National League South football this season as he follows Eastbourne Borough while he is down “home” and says there is a marked difference in terms of pace of play and skill levels. He’s seen Concord play and did think they were one of the weakest sides at that level seemingly lacking a cutting edge, but fancies they will be a real challenge to overcome given the level they play at and them having improved defensively in recent weeks.

Manager Andy Peaks may have more players returning from injury to select from but will be pondering formation and his selection options for this exciting opportunity for the club. There is a dedicated supporters coach along with the team coach and plenty of Diamonds faithful who will be making the trip full of optimism and excitement for another “Barwell away” performance.

I’m going to have to miss the game due to my own “injury” (an old man’s back/hip problem….comes to us all!!) but will be tuning in to listen to Chris, Bruce, Doug and Ollie capture all the excitement on Radio Diamonds and the twitter feed.

Tune in if you can’t make the game and let’s enjoy the excitement of the FA Cup together.

Paul Judd

Radio Diamonds


Radio Diamonds – What we do….

We’re a small group of volunteers who bring you live commentary on AFC Rushden & Diamonds games home and away.

We have a laptop with headphones and some broadcast software linked to a server back at the Dog & Duck. Our output goes out on the internet for which we pay for data and bandwidth and can be accessed by links on the main AFC R&D Website, this website, and we can be found on the popular Tunein App.

We broadcast from 5 or 10 minutes before kick-off through to the final whistle with a summary round-up to finish the day.

We try to cover every game, home and away, and you’ll see us huddled over the laptop at away grounds wherever we can get a space in the seating area, and from the press box at the Dog & Duck.

We generally operate with a lead commentator who does “ball by ball” description of the action, supported by a “pundit” style second commentator who adds summary views and explanation of key action. There is plenty of discussion of the play between the presenters during the commentary, discussions on Diamonds related issues, and coverage of latest scores and current sporting events.

We have a mobile phone to receive text messages during the game which we are really pleased to read out, and we have a twitter feed which we monitor to encourage fans and listeners to get involved in the show.

We are aware that listeners are tuning in all through the game and can’t always listen for 2 hours so we try to round-up the action and confirm the score on a regular basis. We are always happy to get questions about the game and how it’s going so we can keep fans informed.

We are part of the media team at Diamonds and often get involved in other activities such as doing the official twitter feed during matches, writing the official match report and press briefings on the games, writing a programme article, and sometimes help out with filming the highlights for AFCRDTV. Things can get tricky when we are doing those other activities at the same time as commentating!!

We are un-abashed Diamonds fans, members and volunteers who pay our entrance money and support the club in any way we can. We try to be balanced and reflect the opposition as much as we can and encourage fans of the opposition to tune-in and give us their views. We’ve had good feedback when that has happened, but you can definitely tell we are Diamonds fans when the goals go in……at either end!!

We’d love to get more people involved to spread the load a little and to ensure we don’t have matches where we are unable to broadcast because none of our small team is available.

It really is great to be able to talk about our team, to describe the action for people who can’t make the game or our many ex-pats or travelling fans and to share in the excitement of those magical footballing moments.

Paul Judd

Radio Diamonds Presenter

Positivity & Confidence!!

This weekend it’s positivity and confidence all round as we look to cheer Diamonds back into the winners circle.

Still top of the table, still a joy to watch when they perform to their potential, and still cheered on by big crowds of owner fans who make a really big difference to the players on the pitch.

Back to back defeats have been a jolt to the system, especially the manner of last week’s defeat at Potters Bar Town, but tomorrow we’re back at the Dog & Dog where our record is fantastic for a side new into the league, bettered only by Aylesbury in terms of fewest points dropped.

Diamonds still sit top of the pile after 2nd placed Kings Langley also dropped points last week. It shows that no-one will be picking up maximum points between now and the end of the season and the traditional target of averaging 2 points per game which Diamonds have well within their grasp will still give any team a real tilt at the title.

The top 8 has re-shaped recently with Aylesbury and Northwood now level on points with fading Chalfont St. Peter but with games in hand that give them hopes of making a play-off position.

Diamonds have the second fewest games left against top 8 sides but they do include massive away trips to Egham & Royston. Those two sides have 5 top 8 games left to play including twice against each other!!

Kings Langley are in the strongest position with just 1 top 8 side to play but dropping points at home last week to Hanwell shows nothing can be taken for granted in this league.

Our opponents tomorrow are Barton Rovers who Diamonds beat 3-1 in Barton Le-Clay back in October. They sit down in 17th with a marginally better away record, but suffered 6-1 at Kings Langley and 3-0 at Chalfont St. Peter. Stand out result though was a recent 2-0 win at Egham Town added to a 1-1 draw at Royston Town early in the season.

It’s set-up for a cracking afternoon with Andy Peaks sending out a confident motivated side who will be looking to bring goals and excitement back to the Diamonds faithful.

Radio Diamonds will be back to full speed with a pretty full squad to choose from and looking forward to calling the return to form and the start of a really positive end to the season.

Come on you Diamonds….


Fleeting trip or fleet of foot??

Well we’re all off for a fleeting trip down south tomorrow…weather permitting again!!

Fleet Town in Hampshire is the destination, not as far as Petersfield but still one of our longest trips at just shy of 2 hours.

Fleet had problems last week but were in confident mood yesterday that the pitch was playable and they were ready to go. Another badly timed spell of heavy rain is forecast thought now over night and pretty much all morning so there may need to be a pitch inspection tomorrow morning.

If the game goes on it will be Diamonds first away trip since that shock 4-0 defeat at Beaconsfield. They have certainly had their struggles on these long distance trips with the first defeat of the season coming at Godalming, and the game at Petersfield being a tricky affair that Diamonds won 1-0 with a late screamer from Caludiu Hoban. Slightly less further afield saw a late late Richard Bunting winner at Uxbridge, and a last minute penalty miss escape at Hanwell.

It may be no coincidence that like Beaconsfield, Fleet are a much better home side than away. They are top of the home form table with 5 wins in the last 6 although that only defeat was to our promotion rivals St.Ives last time out 0-2. Away form is very poor though with just one win on their travels similar to bottom of the table North Greenford United.

Looking at the teams at the bottom end makes me think how devastating it would be to drop out of this league given how hard it is to gain promotion at step 5. North Greenford have only managed 10 home games this season so with games in hand it looks to be between them Aylesbury United and Leighton Town for the dreaded drop although Hanwell Town, Arlesey Town, Fleet Town and Barton Rovers will feel the pressure to pick up more points to make them safe.

Diamonds have 13 games left now to secure a place at the top end of the table. Last season 85 points would have won the league (Kettering finished with 95), and 74 would have got you in the play-offs. With Diamonds on 60 now, that would mean potentially 25 points for the title at very nearly 2 points per game, and 14 for the play-offs at 1 per game.

All if’s but’s and maybe of course and it will just be a matter of doing what the side did last year. Keep winning games, taking points of rivals when they match up against them, and bouncing back quickly if points are dropped along the way.

It’s going to be an exciting run-in whatever happens and Radio Diamonds will be with it all the way starting with our trip to Fleet which I hope is tomorrow and not postponed to a Tuesday night in March!!

Enjoy the game.

Paul Judd

Radio Diamonds Presenter

Arlesey Town the sequel!!

It’s 2nd time lucky tonight as Diamonds take on Arlesey Town at the Dog & Duck after the original game on January 2nd was abandoned at half-time due to a waterlogged pitch. That was a first weather related abandonment for Diamonds and was a game that had been very tight in increasingly difficult conditions when the downpour made the pitch unplayable.

Tonight’s game has had to survive more badly timed wet weather as did the game on Saturday against Ware. Great work by the ground staff volunteers enabled that game to go ahead and even to be played on a pretty decent surface which suited the team. Brilliant effort…

Diamonds won the game 3-0 to stay 3 points clear at the top of Southern League Central and will be looking to add a third straight home win since losing back to back games to promotion rivals Royston Town and Egham Town in December. The overall home record is now the best in the league though in terms of fewest points dropped with just the two draws (Petersfield Town & Beaconsfield SYCOB) and those two defeats to go with 9 wins.

Arlesey were relegated from Southern League Premier last season after a 4 year stay in the top flight and got off to a terrible start to the season losing their first 5 games and only notching their first goals in their 5th game. They were still bottom after 12 games but back to back away wins in September put them on a decent run which saw the reach 13th place.

They have fallen back in the last few games though with 5 defeats in their last 6 games seeing them drop back to 18th. They do have top-half away record though with 6 wins on their travels including wins at Kings Langley, Bedford and Ware and were impressive in the half of the game we saw back on 2nd January.

They are managed by Nathan and Zema Abbey who have great experience including in league football so will be well prepared and looking to play as well as they did back in January.

Diamonds have the chance to go 6 points clear at the top of the table tonight and will be looking to push on with this game and the long trip to Fleet Town on Saturday before back to back home games against the sides currently second (St.Ives Town) and third (Kings Langley) later in the month.

Exciting times…

Enjoy the game

Paul Judd

Radio Diamonds Presenter

Ware…weather permitting

Plenty of rain forecast over night and on Saturday so if the game against Ware survives the weather it will be a game played in difficult conditions, maybe typical February football conditions.

That will be a lot different to the game between these sides back in the middle August when Diamonds were denied a first Southern League Central Division win by a second last minute equaliser in 5 days. Diamonds new hero Claudiu Hoban had given Diamonds an early lead, but despite shading possession they had been unable to add a second and were punished following a rare defensive mistake to take a third consecutive draw.

Warm summer sunshine seems a distant memory as does the uncertainty of judging Diamonds opening games in this division. St.Ives who had similarly equalised late on in a 2-2 draw in that period have gone on to be real title contenders, while Ware have threatened the top 6 but fallen away just recently. They have lost their last 6 including a 4-1 home defeat by promotion rivals Royston in the week….that scoreline has a horribly familiar ring to it!!

Diamonds bounced back from the shocking 4-0 defeat at Beaconsfield last week to compete really well with National League North side Brackley Town in the NFA Hiller Cup semi-final on Tuesday night and ran out 2-1 winners. The prospect of a final against Kettering Town will be put on the back burner as Diamonds look to re-establish their title credentials. They have a run of 4 home games in the next 6 including re-arranged games against Arlesey Town and St.Ives Town plus one of the longer away trips to Fleet Town.

Diamonds still sit top of the table, 2 points clear of Chalfont St. Peter and 3 of St. Ives and Kings Langley (both opponents this month) but Egham sit 7 points back with three games in hand and nominally in pole position.

The return of Dan Quigley had energised centre midfield, Jon Stevenson is finishing superbly with 3 goals in 4, Jack Ashton has resumed the dynamic centre half position Diamonds fans love him for and Matt Finlay is in superb goalkeeper form to give the spine of the team real strength.

There is real competition for places out wide with Shawn Richards, Andy Hall and Claudiu Hoban fighting for berths and Tom Lorraine keeps his performance level high and the goals adding to his tally.

There is every reason to think Diamonds will show that last week’s performance to be a one-off, but Ware have something to prove and the motivation of having already taken points off Diamonds this season.

It should be a cracking game if it survives the weather.


Cup-Semi Final Excitement

It’s cup-semi-final night at the Dog & Duck tonight in the county’s premier cup competition the NFA Hiller Cup and it should be a great occasion.

Mid-week cup semi-finals under lights are always something special with the chance of a final and some silverware tantalisingly close. Adding to the interest is that we are paired with the county’s top ranked professional side, the current Hiller Cup holders, a side we have never beaten, and in a competition we’ve never won a tie over 90 minutes.

There are only 4 rounds in the competition with some byes in the first round meaning teams often start in the quarter-finals. Diamonds have been drawn at home in every tie they have played in this competition and have yet to win a game over 90 minutes.

In 2013 it was Wellingborough Town who won 2-1 at the Dog & Duck in a first round-tie, and last season it was tonight’s opponents Brackley Town who got the better of a 7 goal thriller. That was a crazy game with Brackley 3-0 up inside 16 minutes, Diamonds pulling two goals back but then trailing 4-2 at half-time. One goal back in the second half wasn’t enough and a very good Brackley Town side went through and went on to lift the trophy against Peterborough Northern Star in the final.

This season Diamonds had a bye in the first round and won their first ever NFA Hillier Cup tie, all be it on penalties. Desborough notched a last minute equaliser in a 2-2 draw that saw a penalty shoot-out in front of the Peter De Banke. Diamonds trailed in that but came back to win 6-5.

Diamonds fans must have left Saturday’s game at Beaconsfield, or read the match report later in a state of shock. It was such an unexpected performance and result that there will be added interest tonight to see what team is picked and how they perform. As match reporter on Saturday I gave Man of the Match to goalkeeper Matt Finlay who pulled off some great saves, but he really had little competition from the outfield players. Man of the Match could be an interesting choice for members tonight with some of the squad players maybe getting a start looking to show what they can do, and the starters on Saturday looking to prove Saturday was just a blip.

Brackley are having a tough season in National League North and come into the game off the back of 4 straight league defeats that see them sit just inside the relegation zone.  They were only beaten by the odd goal at home to table toppers Solihull Moor on Saturday though so will feel the release of a cup semi-final is a perfect chance to get a win on the board.

The other semi-final is also played tonight and is an A14 rivalry between Kettering Town and Rothwell Corinthians. It gives the prospect of a fascinating re-acquaintance of old rivals if results go a certain way but all four sides will fancy their chances of winning tonight and going on to lift the trophy.

The game will go straight to penalties if level at the end of 90 minutes so it will be decided tonight. I’m looking forward to seeing a positive reaction from the Diamonds squad taking on motivated opponents defending their trophy.

Radio Diamonds will be covering the game as usual if you can’t make the game but however you follow it enjoy your night.

Paul Judd

Radio Diamonds Presenter

Radio Diamonds Preview is Back!!

Not before time I hear you say!! I’ve been writing previews for the Members Forum and Newsletter lately so thought it’s about time we got more content back on this website.

I write programme articles and we do match reports between us which can be found….in the programme and on the main website of course…but I will look to see if I can get them up on here too.

We also do short articles for the Non-League Newspaper for home matches which can be a challenge when we have 100 words to describe an 8-1 win plus a sending off to be written by 6pm!!

But this is a preview for the game at Beaconsfield SYCOB on Saturday taken from the preparation notes I do before each game.

Beaconsfield SYCOB Away

Diamonds are on their travels again on Saturday with a trip to the bottom edge of Buckinghamshire to visit Beaconsfield SYCOB.

They came into existence in their current form in 1994 through the amalgamation of Beaconsfield United and Slough Youth Club Old Boys hence the unusual postscript to their name. They have made moves to drop the SYCOB recently but that hasn’t as yet been agreed.

It will be another tough away fixture for Diamonds in a run that includes hard fought wins at Hanwell and Uxbridge at the beginning of December, a tough defeat at then leaders Chalfont St Peter, a come from behind win at Bedford on Boxing Day, a hard fought draw at Northwood in early January played with 10 men for 60 minutes, and another hard won win over 7th placed Aylesbury last weekend that resulted from an excellent performance on a difficult surface.

Beaconsfield have an excellent home record with 9 wins from 13 games that is bettered only by CSP with 10 from 14. Their away form is not so good though which is why they sit down in 9th place in the league after finishing 20th last season. They won their first 5 games at Holloway Park before being pegged back by Egham and Royston in October , something Diamonds know all about, but then went on to win 5 from 6 at home before losing last time out at home to Godalming.

Diamonds have returned to the upper levels of the form guide tables after a difficult December with 3 wins and a draw from the last 6. Beaconsfield were beaten at Northwood last week and sit further down the form table with just 2 wins and 4 defeats in the last 6.

Jon Stevenson has got off to a flyer as a Diamonds striker with two fantastic strikes to round off excellent all round performances, and Andy Hall is adding goals to his all round play to give Diamonds a real New Year lift.

Aaron Berry is Beaconsfield star player with 11 goals including the late equaliser at the Dog & Duck when the sides drew 1-1 in October. Jack Read has 8 and Beaconsfield clearly have attacking options with 47 goals this season.

This week has seen the Kings Langley result finally formalised and into the league table seeing Diamonds now on 53 points from 25 games, an excellent Fans Forum on Wednesday and the U18 scholars reaching the semi-finals of the David Joyce County Youth Cup with a thumping 7-1 quarter-final win.

But all eyes will be on Beaconsfield on Saturday as the side looks to continue this return to form and to stay top of the table as long as they can. Follow the game on Radio Diamonds if you can’t make it, we hope to have resolved the annoying connection problems we had last week and are chomping at the bit to bring more live action.

Paul Judd

Radio Diamonds Presenter

Radio Diamonds Weekly Update

Radio Diamonds Weekly Update


Hi I’m Paul Judd and this is the weekly update from Radio Diamonds. This is the written version of the recorded update that will also be posted on the Radio Diamonds website.


The exciting news this week is the release of our fixtures for the coming season so we’ll take a look at some of the highlights, we’ll also look back at the first two games of the pre-season campaign which saw a win and a draw and the whole squad used, we’ve had a first chance to see a number of new signings and trialists so we’ll see what we’ve learned about them too, we’ll look at the games coming up this week including Saturday’s trip to Enfield, and we’ll round up some club news.


What a difference a league makes!! Fixtures published for the whole season in July, a fairly equitable home and away balance, and some sensible midweek scheduling. It’s just the names and places that will take some getting used to. I’ve already been caught out with the two Aylesbury’s in the league.

We start our Southern League Central campaign at home against also newly promoted Petersfield Town from Hampshire. Petersfield have achieved back to back promotions through the Wessex League clinching the Premier League by 7 points last season so a fascinating match-up first up.

We then have back to back away games with a trip to St Ives Town for one of our “local” fixtures on Tuesday 11th, before our first longer trip 60 miles down south to Ware on Saturday 15th. St Ives finished 9th last season and Ware 10th so a couple of games which will help us judge our level in the new league.

It’s then 3 home games to round of August against Aylesbury United (13th), Chalfont St. Peter (16th) and Bedford (17th) on Bank Holiday Monday. It’s difficult to tell based on last year’s finishing position but this looks like a first 6 games which gives us a real chance to make our mark on the League. But I bet all 6 opponents will fancy their chances of a win against a newly promoted side, so it’s going to be an exciting August.

The midweek away trips that are scheduled look to be sensibly nearer rather than farther trips, and the Boxing Day away trip to Bedford will please some of our loyal fans. The tricky period is pre-xmas with the longest trips of the season to Godalming (95 miles) on November 14th, Petersfield Town (114 miles) on November 28th, and the last two Saturdays’ before xmas see us heading to Uxbridge (69 miles) and Chalfont St Peter (63 miles) ….at least we’ll avoid the xmas shopping.

New Years Day we are at home to Arlesey Town and being another of our “local” opponents we visit them on Easter Monday. We finish at home too against Godalming Town on April 23rd.

One other fixture announcement this week is the Red Insure Cup (for Southern League sides). We’ve been drawn against Premier League side Histon FC in a home tie, but it doesn’t take place until w/c 12/10.

This week’s action

Diamonds have had two games this week to kick-off the pre-season campaign, both against United Counties League opposition and both away.

The first was the now regular pre-season opener against Rushden & Higham United at Hayden Road played for the Chris Ruff Memorial Cup. The teams had both previously won once, with Diamonds the holders after a 2-0 victory last July.

The sides are now two levels apart in the non-league world and although a competitive workout for the whole squad the difference did show through. New signings Dan Quigley (centre midfield) and Ollie Wilkinson (right back) started along with trialist Steve Spriggs all three looking comfortable and slotting in well to the 4-4-2 system. The first half was goalless with a limited number of chances that fell mostly to Diamonds who looked solid and well motivated and fit.

6 half-time substitutions including a whole new front 4 sharpened the forward line and early goals for Courtney Herbert and Liam Dolman clinched the result, with a number of other chances for Herbert, Lawless, Kilbride and Fitzgerald also created. 3 players returned to the action in the second-half meaning all except poor old Sam Brown played about 70 minutes.

The trophy was lifted at the end of the game in front of a healthy 200 plus crowd.

Tuesday night saw a trip to one of our favourite grounds – Kingsthorpe Mill to play Northampton Spencer. It was a tad more laid back on Tuesday than the promotion clinching game at the end of our first senior season, in fact we had rain and drizzle, all be it warm, for most of the game.

We may have seen a nod towards a preferred starting eleven with Herbert and Lorraine starting up front, Kilbride and Spriggs out wide, and Quigley and Harris in centre midfield. Joe Merrill came in at right-back alongside Dolman, Ashton and Brown. The first half was certainly the better of the two for diamonds with Spriggs in particular involved in most of Diamonds good work, and Herbert always threatening the last man. Chance were at a premium as the opposition was definitely a step-up and in second half in particular a confident Spencer side put some pressure on the Diamonds defence.

The game finished goalless with Diamonds dropping off in terms of performance and intensity in the second-half, certainly in the final third, but the work out for the whole squad over the two games including defensively in this match has been exactly what Andy Peaks will have wanted.

New Signings

It’s always difficult to judge players in pre-season games but we’ve had our first look at the new signing so what did we think…

Dan Quigley – slotted in really well alongside both Bunting and Harris, works hard to win the ball back and likes to pick a positive pass particularly out wide. Likes to make near post runs at corners and flick the ball on and although slight of frame is strong in the air. A definite contender to start in central midfield

Ollie Wilkinson – reads the game well at both full-back where he played in the first game and centre half in the second. Not the tallest and I was struck how he reminded me of Jack Ashton in his leaping for the ball against taller defenders and sheer physical effort, good in possession and a good addition to the back four squad

Jason Kilbride – quick feet as you’d expect from a Futsal international, pacey and happy to cut inside at pace or go outside and an excellent crosser of the ball. Took some excellent free-kicks and corners in the first game and looks a possible Matt Gearing replacement in that respect, although Steven Spriggs may have something to say about that

Dominic Lawless – busy striker who was part of the impact substitutions at half-time in the first game. He links the play well around and outside the box as he did for Liam Dolman’s goal against R&H. Not had much in the way of chances to show his finishing bar a strike just over the bar from 8 yards in the first game from Tom Lorraine’s cutback. Adds to the squad of striking options


Courtney Herbert – started as a trialist but has now signed-on, immediate impact with a goal after 40 seconds against R&H, bright, mobile, aggressive and keen to get run the channel to get in behind defences. One great finish, and two maybe not so great in the two games, but a real threat and if he signs would likely be first choice.

Steve Spriggs – played a half in each match and very impressive. Particularly in the Spencer game where he got some fantastic passes to enable him to run at and frankly torment the left-back, and great end product too. A variety of types of crosses, plus a couple of dangerous free-kicks show he could be a main man for diamonds if he signs.

Kieran Fitzgerald – grew into the first game and looked pacey and lively particularly cutting inside, got shots off in both games when coming onto the ball at the edge of the area. Not dissimilar to Elliott Lamb-Johnson although taller, confident and a potentially good squad player

It looks like we have some excellent signings who can help us adapt to the next level we’ve now moved to, with some other possible options that would really enhance our team and squad. Let’s see what happens in the coming weeks.

Next Games

Over the next week we have tough looking trip to Enfield Town, another fan owned club who play in the Ryman Isthmian League Premier Division, a step above Diamonds. They finished 7th last season and had 16 of their 21 wins games at home. I noticed they have friendlies against Brighton & Hove Albion and Crystal Palace alongside AFC Rushden & Diamonds.

On Tuesday night we make the first of 4 appearance at the Dog & Duck as we build towards the start of the season with the visit of Southern League Premier side Biggleswade Town. The waders finished 4th bottom of the league last season but well clear in terms of points and will certainly be stern opposition for Diamonds.

Club News

The club AGM was held on Wednesday evening…more details on what was discussed in next week’s update, but you can see the annual accounts for 2014/2015 on the member’s website.

Ground maintenance continues at the Dog & Duck all by volunteers. Teams that have been down so far have undertaken a range of work including painting a large section of fence, as well as old club shop/new tea bar area, Jetwashed astroturf areas, cleaned various barriers/pitchside boards, repainted dugouts, weeding around the entire stadium perimeter completed, various doors rubbed down, filled and prepped for undercoat. There is more needed to be done to finish off much of this good work so if people can offer an hour or two Saturday or Sunday please contact Darren via the main website. I’m told free bacon sarnies are on offer!!

There has been a fantastic response to the U12 and U14 training sessions for the new girls section of the club, and it has prompted expanding to offer sessions for U7/8 and U9 & U10. With qualified coaches and the emphasis on fun and development it’s a great chance for more of the Diamonds family to get involved in playing the game. Look on the main website for details.


So the pre-season is underway, the new players are bedding in, tough pre-season games are coming-up, and we have a fixture list for the whole season, it’s an exciting time. Enjoy the pre-season games you can get down to and remember it’s only 3 weeks until that opening game against Petersfield Town and the return of Radio Diamonds.