Big match nerves? You’d be forgiven…but also plenty of excitement at the prospect of the biggest game of this UCL season.
It’s first against second and it’s between the only two sides in the battle for that illusive promotion opportunity.
Diamonds have the advantage of points in the bag and games played, Holbeach have the advantage of fewest points dropped and games in hand.
Holbeach are off the back of 6 consecutive wins, Diamonds have bounced back from a couple of disappointing defeats with two 3-0 wins.
Holbeach have a strong squad that has improved as the season has gone on, Diamonds have added real strength and experience since the New Year
It does have the ingredients for an epic encounter and the Radio Diamonds team and the whole media team will be out in force for the journey to Lincolnshire. We know local media in both Northamptonshire and Lincolnshire are following the game closely and I’ve been asked to provide BBC Radio Northampton with updates through the afternoon.
What of the previous clashes between the sides. Last season against a Holbeach squad with very different league aspirations Diamonds won comfortably 3-1 at Carters Park. It was the first game back from a 4 week break to bad weather and 2 early goals from Matt Gearing put Diamonds in control and they won comfortably.
Back in October this seasons clash at the Dog & Duck was much closer finishing 1-1. It was the first time Diamonds had dropped points at home and they were unable to capitalise on good periods in the game and were pegged back by a penalty just on half-time. The game finished with a big melee in the final moments involving all the players and most of the management from the two teams…let’s hope there is no repeat of that this time.
Current form is firmly in Holbeach fabour. They have taken pole position in the title race of course after 6 consecutive wins in a period where Diamonds have lost twice. They won at Cogenhoe…which doesn’t seem as difficult a place to win as it was earlier in the season…but they also had good home wins against Yaxley and Wisbech. Both those sides are still on edge of the title race if Diamonds and Holbeach both slip up and Wisbech on a great run in 4th have a trip to the Dog & Duck to look forward to.
Diamonds have strengthened their squad since the New Year with the additions of Declan Rogers and Neil King who had a tricky start in the defeat at Oadby but had a genuine impact on the team in the two 3-0 weeks last week. They have also now added Tommy Berwick with his great goals scoring record and experience of playing at a higher level
The only sensible predictions you can really make about this game are that there will be a large travelling contingent trying hard to be the legendary 12th man for Diamonds and a vociferous home support, that it will be competitive and a good quality of open attacking football, and that the result won’t decide the title but will have a massive impact on the way either side sees the remainder of the season.
If you aren’t travelling to sunny Lincolnshire then please tune in to Radio Diamonds and join us on what should be an exciting afternoon showcasing the very best in UCL football.
Radio Diamonds Presenter