Egham – The Sequel!!

We’ve got an enticing prospect at Hayden Road on Saturday as Diamonds return to league action against a side seeking the play-offs for the third year in a row and a team you could call our Southern League bogey side in Egham Town.

The Surrey outfit won both games when the two sides were vying for play-off positions 2 years ago including a painful pre-christmas 1-0 defeat at the Dog & Duck. The return fixture had to wait until the penultimate game of the season, and although Diamonds were beaten 2-0 on the night their play-off spot for the season was confirmed with St. Ives victory at Aylesbury.

Egham finished a strong 3rd place that season but suffered the ultimate heartache of a home defeat to St. Ives in a penalty shoot-out. Diamonds suffered their own heartache against St. Ives in the final of course with that late late equaliser and extra-time agony.

Both sides finished 5th in their respective leagues last season, the second season running for Diamonds. And both bowed out to a very strong 2nd place side that went on to be promoted. Egham were beaten 4-0 at Farnborough, Diamonds 2-0 by Witton Albion.

Diamonds come into the game off the back of winning 2 out of 3 home cup-ties in an extended break from league action. Disappointing defeat to Kidsgove last Saturday in the FA Trophy was sandwiched between good victories against St. Neots Town in the Southern League Cup and Wellingborough Whitworths in the Hillier Cup.

So where does that leave Diamonds form. Well 3 wins in 5 in all competitions with only 1 defeat sounds pretty good. Just the one 1 win in the last 5 league games doesn’t sound quite so good although that did come off the back of three opening wins to the season.

This team clearly have some top quality players for this league and are capable of blowing sides away as they did with Dunstable and Fleet. When they don’t get the early goal they can find it difficult to maintain their form particularly against sides that sit back and hit them on the break.

Egham you suspect will come and take on Diamonds on Saturday buoyed by that 100% record against them and a 7-1 win in the FA Trophy last time out. That Trophy win came after a 2 game losing streak in the league, which itself followed a 5 game winning run. Which Egham will we see on Saturday?

So both sides have real potential this season, both sides try and play attractive football but both have their vulnerabilities. Add to that the previous there is between the sides and you have everything you need for a Hayden Road classic.

Radio Diamonds will be there with our newly restored laptop, we’ll be twittering and match reporting. There will be snapchat and facebook and the AFCRDTV highlights to look forward too.

However you engage with us…..enjoy the game.

Paul Judd
Radio Diamonds

On the Road again

It’s FA Cup time again for Diamonds this weekend with a very tough looking away trip to Step 2 side Alfreton Town. It’s the 5th away tie on the trot for unlucky Andy Peaks side and the 14th in the 20 rounds of competion Diamonds will have played in.

It’s the third away tie of this seasons campaign following a 4-0 win at Wellingborough Town and that dramatic 3-2 win at Tividale last time out. Diamonds looking to progress to the 3rd Qualifying Round for the 4th time in 5 seasons but it will be tough at higher ranked opposition in Alfreton.

FA Cup Ties 13/14 14/15 15/16 16/17 17/18 Total
Home 1 2 1 2 0 6
Away 4 1 4 2 3 14
Total 5 3 5 4 3 20

 

It’s been a fantastic ride in the FA Cup though with some hard fought away draws and wins, thumping home performances and exciting contests. Cambridge City at home (3-2) Concord Rangers away (3-1) Ashton United home (2-0) and Barwell away (2-2) are probably the highlights especially as they were against higher ranked opposition. The big home wins against Oxhey Jets (5-1) London Colney in a replay (6-1) and Cockfosters in another replay (8-0) were all great nights at the Dog & Duck and the away replay win at Bedford (3-0) possibly one of Diamonds best performances.

Diamonds have won 15 rounds of competition scoring 48 goals and conceding 26. It means you are pretty much guaranteed goals with Diamonds in the FA Cup and I fancy that will continue on Saturday.

Nabil Shariff has scored in both rounds this season including a hat-trick at Tividale in the last round and now sits alongside Alfie Taylor as the clubs leading FA Cup goalscorer with 8. Alfie hit his 8 in one season scoring in every round in 2013 including a brace to win the famous Cambridge City tie and the only Diamonds goal in the away defeat at Dover. Russ Dunkley scored 7 in that first season too including 5 all headers to achieve FA Cup performance of the round in that replay win against Cockfosters.

FA Cup Goals 13/14 14/15 15/16 16/17 17/18 Total
For 23 9 10 9 7 48
Against 10 3 4 7 2 26
FA Cup Goalscorers Nabil Shariff – 8 (two hat-tricks)

Alfie Taylor – 8

Russ Dunkley – 7 (one 5 for!!)

Tom Lorraine – 5

Matt Gearing – 5

Fazel Koriya – 4 (one hat-trick)

Liam Dolman – 3

Dan Quigley – 3

 

 

 

Tom Lorraine has scored in 4 consecutive seasons in the FA Cup thanks to his brace at Wellingborough Town in this year’s first round and is matched by Matty Gearing who also notched 5 FA Cup goals in total with his 5 coming over the first two seasons in the competition.

Liam Dolman has scored in each of the last two seasons but not yet this season so what price on him popping up with a last minute equaliser a la Barwell to give Diamonds a first big night at Hayden Road under the lights.

That would be a fantastic proposition as Diamonds look to recover from the disappointment of a first defeat of the season at home to Beaconsfield Town last Saturday. I’m convinced it was just a bad day at the office with mistakes by usually reliable players littering the performance particularly in that second half.

They don’t become bad players overnight and having got that poor performance out of the way I’m sure we’ll see a revitalised confident front foot performance against Alfreton on Saturday. Diamonds will be backed by a tremendous away following as ever roaring them on and Radio Diamonds will be bringing all the noise and the action to the wider Diamonds family in what I’m sure will be another magical FA Cup away day.

Enjoy the game.

Paul Judd

Back to home…

It’s back to Hayden Road and back to league action for Diamonds on Saturday after the excitement of the FA Cup last weekend.

The trip to Tividale had everything you expect of the FA Cup, goal mouth action, last ditch blocks and saves in the sunshine, post and bar rattled, chances at both ends, the underdogs home side leading twice, Diamonds fighting back twice through the inform Nabil Shariff including one world class finish, and the striker clinching his hat-trick for a double come from behind win.

The second qualifying round draw could have been kinder with Diamonds drawn away to National League North mid-table side Alfreton Town next weekend  on the 16th. Alfreton have played at “Conference” level and are a solid Step 2 outfit playing in front of 3 to 400 just north of Derby so should be up for a good crowd and exciting tie – can we hope for another Barwell or even Concord Rangers away?

Diamonds have made a great start to life at Hayden Road with two wins and 9 goals in the 2-0 opening day win against Hanwell and the 7-1 thumping of Fleet Town. Nabil Shariff has 4 of those goals and has 10 in 6 games now only failing to score at Kempston. I’m sure the form of Joel Gyasi, Luke Fairlamb, Darryl Smith and Claudiu Hoban in those ever important wide positions have made a massive difference. Not to mention the form of Chris Dillon up front alongside him who will wonder how he didn’t score last week and Tom Lorraine before his injury.

Diamonds Goalscorers after 6 Games

 

League (4) FA Cup (2) Total (6)
Home (2) Away (2) Home (0) Away (2)
Nabil Shariff 4 2 4 10
Darryl Smith 3 3
Tom Lorraine 2 2
Liam Dolman 1 1 2
Sam Brown 1 1
Claudiu Hoban 1 1
Joel Gyasi 1 1
Total 9 4   7 20

 

 

League Home Away Total Home Att. Away Att.
Hanwell Town 2-0 610
Thame United 3-0 227
Fleet Town 7-1 540
Kempston 1-1 482
Total 9-1 4-1 13-2 Av. 575 Av. 354
FA Cup
Wellingborough Town 4-0 513
Tividale 3-2 325
Total 7-2 7-2   Av. 419
     
Total 9-1 11-3 20-4 Av. 575 Av. 387

 

Today’s visitors Beaconsfield will undoubtedly be the toughest of the sides played at home so far sitting on a record of 2 wins and 2 defeats so far this season. The wins have come on the road impressively at Aylesbury United and Cambridge City, with close defeats to high-flying Hartley Wintney and always strong Chalfont St. Peter. They got past Chalfont St. Peter in the FA Cup after a replay but went out to Marlow 2-0 at home.

The side haves met before of course when Diamonds were last in the Southern League’s 2 years ago  and Diamonds have never beaten the Buckinghamshire outfit. The sides played out a home 1-1 draw which was such a familiar result in that phase of our first Step 4 season although it was followed by a 7-1 home win just 3 days later. Beaconsfield thumped Diamonds 4-0 in the return match on a day I shudder to remember commentating on. It came in a run of great form but was as bad an away performance as a Diamonds side has ever given and Manager Andy Peaks will be keen to set the record straight on Saturday.

It’s very early days in the league of course but the pre-season fancied sides are all up in the top reaches of the table with Moneyfields matching Diamonds 10 points from 4 games along with AFC Dunstable who have played a game more, and Hartley Wintney, Marlow, Egham and Uxbridge sit on 9 points with Kempston, Barton Rovers, Ashton Town, Northwood and Chalfont St. Peter just a couple of points further back.

It should be a cracking game and the Burger Monster has pies on his menu. What more could you ask for. See you down at Hayden Road!!

Paul Judd

Radio Diamonds

Half way there…

Half Season League Review –

21 games played, 39 points in the bag, 5th in the league with games in hand and unbeaten in 19 games…you’d definitely have settled for that back in August.

A repeat of that level of performance in the second half of the season would put Diamonds into definite play-off contention in what is arguably a slightly harder league than the Southern League of last season.

The uneven nature of the home and away form and the number of games drawn in that long unbeaten run particularly at home tend to make Diamonds fans underplay what is overall a pretty impressive record. But you have to be impressed with a side that hasn’t been beaten in the league in nearly 5 months.

Think about it…5 months….19 games and not one side has been able to beat AFC Rushden & Diamonds. A few have come close – Spalding lead against 10 men into the 78th minute (but were beaten 2-1!!), Shaw Lane took a 79th minute lead before being pegged back on 84, and Gresley took a 94th minute lead before Ross Oulton saved the day on 96.

So here are some stats from the first half of a pretty damn good league season…

Played 21…Won 10…drawn 9….lost 2

36 goals scored….23 conceeded

Lost first 2…then unbeaten in 19 with 10 wins and 9 draws

Home wins Vs Bedworth and 2-0 (Aug)  and Sheffield 2-1 (Oct)

Away wins Vs Carlton 3-1, Belper 4-1, Spalding 2-1, Stocksbridge 3-2, Loughborough 3-0, Gresley 2-1, Lincoln 1-0, Bedworth 2-1

Home draws Vs Gresley 3-3, Shaw Lane 1-1, Romulus 0-0, Basford 2-2, Market Drayton 1-1, Lincoln 1-1, Stamford 1-1

Away draws vs Rugby 1-1, Shaw Lane 1-1

Home Loss vs Chasetown 1-3 (Aug)

Away loss vs Newcastle 0-1 (Aug)

Clean sheets 3….Bedworth 2-0 (H), Romulus 0-0 (H), Loughborough 3-0  (A)

Conceeded 1 x12 times…

Conceeded 2 x2 times..vs. Stocksbridge  – 3-2 (A)..Basford 2-2  (H)

Conceeded 3 once…vs Gresley 3-3 (H)

Goalless twice 2 Newcastle 0-1 (A) Romulus 0-0 (H)

Scored 1 x 8 times

Scored 2 x 6 times

Scored 3 x 4 times vs Carlton 3-1 (A), Stocksbridge 3-2 (A), Loughborough 3-0 (A) Gresley 3-3 (H)

Scored 4 once vs Belper 4-1 (A)

Earned late points (after 80 mins)

* Spalding 2-1 (A) 1-0 down to 10 men then 78 min equaliser and 85th min winner Richard Bunting..get in!!!!

* Stocksbridge 3-2 (A) lead 2-0..back to 2 -2 then 86th min winner

* Sheffield 2-1 (H) 88th min penalty by Nabil Shariff 

* Bedworth 2-1 (A) 94th minute winner after being 1-0 down Fazel Koriya…

* Gresley 3-3 (H) 96th minute equaliser Ross Oulton…

*Shaw Lane 1-1 (A) 84th minute equaliser after going behind on 79

Dropped late points (after 80 mins)

* Newcastle 0-1 (A) 88th min winner on opening day

* Gresley 3-3 (H) scored in 94th minute to take 3-2 lead after being pegged back from 2-0 but Ross Oulton grabbed his second in 96th minute to earn 3-3 draw

Best record against Bedworth…2 wins…4 for 1 against…

Worst record against Chasetown….1 defeat 1-3…

Played twice…Bedworth (6 points), Shaw Lane (2 points), Lincoln (4 points)

Not played. ..Witton Albion, Northwich Victoria, Kidsgrove Athletic

Worst moment….late goal at Newcastle (gutting on opening day…)

Best moments…late equaliser vs Gresley after going behind in 94th minute

Late penalty winner vs Sheffield…..

Late winners at Stocksbridge and Bedworth…brilliant Radio Diamonds commentary

But my personal favourite…the turn around at Spalding…10 men…trail 1 0…Jack Ashton 78….then Richard Bunting 84…epic epic scenes…

Overall it feels there have been lots of close games…more than we had last season I think. We have won more of those away from home and drawn more at home…but have worked hard to earn points in those close matches.

Maybe sides play differently against us away in front of our big crowd, definitely raising their game. They attack more at home where our quick passing quick breaking play creates more chances.

 

I think there is a real togetherness and a great attitude with these players and the management team. Chances are definitely harder to come by but we defend strongly and when you look at stats score more goals than we are given credit for.

Not going to be easy to keep it up but I genuinely think if we keep the attitude, tactics and effort going we have reason to think the second half of the season could be as good as the first.

Paul Judd

Radio Diamonds

 

 

Swadlincote…or swaddling clothes (see what I did there!!)

Diamonds make the medium distance trip into South Derbyshire to the lovely town of Swadlincote to take on Gresley FC on Saturday looking to extend the best away record in the Northern Premier League Division One South.

Unbeaten on the road since the opening day of the season Diamonds have travelled well since that opening reverse at table toppers Newcastle Town. Wins at Carlton in August, then just up the road in Belper in October were followed by three away wins in November at Spalding, Stocksbridge and Loughborough.

The only disappointment in that run was the draw at bottom of the table Rugby Town also in November and it has been draws galore at home for Diamonds that keep them just outside the play-off places. Diamonds have been beaten just once at home this season but 5 draws from 8 include the disappointing 1-1 against strugglers Market Drayton Town last weekend.

The first draw in that sequence was the game between these two sides in early September and it was by far was the most entertaining of them all. Diamonds fought back from 2-0 down through a Ross Oulton screamer on 72 and looked to be the likely winners until Mwanyongo scored his second to seemingly win the game for Gresley on 93. But Ross Oulton hadn’t finished and smashed the ball into the bottom corner on 94 to send the home crowd crazy… how we miss him!!

Gresley have had a real topsy turvey season that has been full of goals. 76 have been scored in 19 Gresley games this season with 33 for and 43 against. Incredible stats that saw the free scoring Derbyshire men in the top 8 for the first half of the season, but a run of just 2 wins in 11 including a 5-1 reverse at Kidsgrove last weekend see them come into this game down in 13th.

Diamonds manager Andy Peaks has added to his squad this week with the addition of two players who have played against Diamonds in FA Cup ties. Ben Farrell joins from Bedford Town after being part of the Cambridge City side beaten 3-2 in that incredible cup tie in 2013, and Merdi Maki joins from the Northampton Sileby side beaten 4-3 earlier this season.

This pre Xmas period is always critical and not one that Diamonds have fared particularly well in in previous seasons. But with a fabulous away record to protect, additions to the squad, and a travelling faithful that you know the players really appreciate they will be in beautiful Derbyshire looking for another 3 points to keep the unbeaten play-off chasing run going.

Follow us on Radio Diamonds and look out for my updates on BBC Northampton for the first time this season. I might just get in a mention in for my hometown heroes Stourbridge for their massive FA Cup 2nd round tie against the Cobblers of Northampton Town on Sunday.

Come on you Glassboys!!….and Diamonds too obviously….

Paul Judd

Radio Diamonds Presenter (once a Glassboy always a Glassboy…..)

 

 

Diamonds vs Steelmen….we try again!!

It’s back to cup action for Diamonds tonight as they take on Corby Town in the re-arranged Integro NPL League Cup First Round.

It is probably weather permitting again after last week’s postponement for waterlogging with temperatures so low during the night and morning and dropping below freezing from about 5.00, and could be as low as 3 degrees under by kick-off.

I’ve updated my preview from last week and hope I’m not jinxing the game by putting it out there now…..

……

Diamonds have had plenty of cup excitement this season making it through 3 rounds of FA Cup action before falling to Hendon in October. They also made it through two rounds of FA Trophy action with a thrilling 6-1 away replay success at Histon United and a 1-0 home win against Coalville Town before falling to Lincoln United in another away replay this month. Throw in a 5 goal NFA Hiller Cup tie at Kettering Town and it’s been all action in cup matches this season.

It is a first foray into the NPL League Cup for both sides tonight after Diamonds sideways move from the Southern League last season and Corby having previously played in the Southern League before a spell in National League North which ended in relegation last season.

Diamonds first effort at Step 3/4 League Cup action was a massive disappointment last season as they lost 4-1 at home to a very young Histon side who scored twice in the first 4 minutes. Only Brad Harris from that starting line-up is still with the club although Liam Dolman and Matt Finlay sat on the bench that night. Dominic Lawless scoring the only goal from the penalty spot.

After securing a 5th away league win at Loughborough Dynamo 10 days back Diamonds maintained their 6th place in NPL Division One South with Saturday’s home draw with Market Drayton town. Diamonds have still only been beaten once at home all season but they have drawn 7 times now including 5 times in the league after Saturday’s disappointing result. 5 wins have been added though since that opening day week defeat – three in cup ties – and they still remain unbeaten at home since mid August.

Northern Premier League side Corby come into the game off the back of a 2 -0 home defeat to our old FA Cup opponents Barwell. That followed a heartening 3-3 draw against Ashton United the previous week which had put an end to a run of 4 straight defeats without scoring and 9 defeats in 10 in the league. That run saw them slip to the foot of the table where they remain now after Saturday’s home reverse.

Ex Diamonds hero Gary Mills has recently taken over the Steelmen and brought in a number of new players to try and turn round their form. Robbie Parsons is among those signings along with ex Premier League player (Aston Villa) Stefan Moore. Corby also have Connor Kennedy on their books.

We can probably expect a much changed side tonight from Diamonds with the substitutes from the weekend likely to get a game along with possibly one or two U21 players. There will have to be a strong core to the side particularly defensively and it will be fascinating to see how the side that plays gels together and approaches what should be a winnable tie. Corby will be straining to impress the new manager and reverse their form and what better place to do it than at their local rivals in a cup tie.

Radio Diamonds will be there if you don’t get to the game so tune in for all the action from 7.45.

Paul Judd

Radio Diamonds Presenter

Welcome to The Gingerbread Men!!

Diamonds return to the Dog & Duck on Saturday for a first home league game this month to take on the Gingerbread Men of Market Drayton Town.

The last home league game for Diamonds was the 2-2 draw against Basford United back on 22nd October since when they have travelled to Spalding, Stocksbridge, Rugby and Loughborough returning with a very healthy 10 points from 4 games.

The Gingerbread Men are named after the very well known product of the Shropshire town and can trace their roots back to football in the town in Victorian times. They took on the name of Market Drayton Town in 2003 after coming through local leagues and have been in Northern Premier League Division One South since 2008.

As with recent opponents Rugby Town and Loughborough Dynamo, the Gingerbread Men have been on a poor run after an earlier decent spell in the season. Three wins on the trot in October including two away from home had seen them up to 10th in the table but 5 straight league defeats and conceding 15 goals in the process has seen them sink down to 18th.

Market Drayton will be heartened by the fact that the clean sheet Diamonds earned at Loughborough last week was their first in 8 league games and only the third this season. But Diamonds have scored in all but two league games and average just shy of 2 goals a game while the Gingerbread Men average 2 goals a game conceded.

It should be a game full of goals (meaning its’ nailed on 0-0!!) with Diamonds looking to extend an unbeaten league run of 12 games and looking to gain ground on 3 of the 5 sides above them in the league who don’t have a game this weekend.

Radio Diamonds will be cosy in the press box at the Dog & Duck as long the door stays shut. Tune in any time during the game to get the latest and see if the lads can get the festive period (it has started hasn’t it??) off with a swing.

Paul Judd

Radio Diamonds Presenter

Diamonds vs Steelmen…weather permitting!!

It’s back to cup action for Diamonds tonight as they take on Corby Town in the Integro NPL League Cup First Round – weather permitting. There is a pitch inspection at 12.30 after lots of heavy rain the last few days but it should be a dryer morning so fingers crossed.

Diamonds have had plenty of cup excitement this season making it through 3 rounds of FA Cup action before falling to Hendon in October. They also made it through two rounds of FA Trophy action with a thrilling 6-1 away replay success at Histon United and a 1-0 home win against Coalville Town before falling to Lincoln United in another away replay this month. Throw in a 5 goal NFA Hiller Cup tie at Kettering Town and it’s been all action in cup matches this season.

It is a first foray into the NPL League Cup for both sides tonight after Diamonds sideways move from the Southern League last season and Corby having previously played in the Southern League before a spell in National League North which ended in relegation last season.

Diamonds first effort at Step 3/4 League Cup action was a massive disappointment last season as they lost 4-1 at home to a very young Histon side who scored twice in the first 4 minutes. Only Brad Harris from that starting line-up is still with the club although Liam Dolman and Matt Finlay sat on the bench that night. Dominic Lawless scoring the only goal from the penalty spot.

After securing a 5th away league win on Saturday to move up to 6th in the NPL Division One South table Diamonds return to the Dog & Duck where they have a more modest overall record. Diamonds have only been beaten once at home all season but they have drawn 6 times including 4 times in the league. 5 wins have been added since that opening day week defeat though and they still remain unbeaten at home since mid August.

Northern Premier League side Corby come into the game off the back of a heartening 3-3 draw against Ashton United on Saturday. That put an end to a run of 4 straight defeats without scoring and 9 defeats in 10 in the league that saw them slip to the foot of the table.

Ex Diamonds hero Gary Mills has recently taken over the Steelmen and brought in a number of new players to try and turn round their form. Robbie Parsons is among those signings along with ex Premier League player (Aston Villa) Stefan Moore. Corby also have James Jepson and Connor Kennedy on their books.

We can probably expect a much changed side tonight from Diamonds with the substitutes from the weekend likely to get a game along with possibly one or two U21 players. There will have to be a strong core to the side particularly defensively and it will be fascinating to see how the side that plays gels together and approaches what could be seen as a winnable tie. Corby will be straining to impress the new manager and what better place to do it than at their local rivals in a cup tie.

Radio Diamonds will be there if you don’t get to the game so tune in for all the action from 7.45.

Paul Judd

Radio Diamonds Presenter

Away to the Dynamo

After the disappointment of FA Trophy exit at Lincoln United midweek it’s the classic concentrate on the league for Diamonds this weekend as they travel to Loughborough Dynamo.

It’s a 5th away game in the last 6 for the Diamonds faithful who will be heading up the M1 again after visits to Spalding, Stocksbridge, Rugby and Lincoln all since the beginning of November.

That FA Trophy defeat was a first reverse in 11 games for Diamonds since the FA Cup exit at Hendon back at the beginning of October. Since that earlier cup defeat diamonds have gone win, win, draw, win, win, draw in the league to make up ground on the top 6.

They sit third in the “last 6” form guide incredibly alongside Belper Town who have gone six games unbeaten since Diamonds won 4-1 in Derbyshire back in October. Makes me think back to that opening day defeat at not particularly impressive Newcastle Town who now find themselves top of the league!!

Injuries and suspensions took their toll for the games at Rugby and Lincoln where Diamonds hadn’t looked as commanding as in that 6 game form run. With Nabil Shariff and Brad Harris returning from suspension this Saturday and Lewis Wilson available after being cup-tied Diamonds will certainly be stronger.

Liam Dolman and Jack Ashton will probably have to wait at least another week before returning, but Tom Lorraine could come into the reckoning after his recent illness.

Loughborough are on a really poor run of form themselves having started the season fairly well they then lost 9 out of 10 to slide down into the bottom four. They beat Rugby Town 3-2 at home recently to give them hope of a recovery but have lost the last two games 2-0 at home to Leek Town and by the same score at Stamford.

Early wins against Lincoln United and Sheffield and a draw against Carlton Town are the only other games to have produce points at home for the Dynamo who are one of just two sides averaging under 100 attendances this season.

The Diamonds faithful will travel in the hope of seeing the usual post cup setback victory and Radio Diamonds will be there to bring you all the action if you can’t make the game.

Paul Judd

Radio Diamonds Presenter

Rugby Away….

After an incredible pair of away performances right up there in Diamonds history it’s another trip on the road tonight, a tad closer this time as Diamonds take on Rugby Town FC in Southern League South division action.

I’m disappointed to be missing another away game after missing the fabulous sounding trip to Stockbridge Park Steels although Paphos in Cyprus has ample compensations. I’ll be tuning in to Radio Diamonds if I can but it will be just as the cabaret starts and we had a Boy George tribute act last night so might be tricky.

Rugby will be looking to avoid a 6th straight home defeat as they sit rock bottom of the league. After a decent start with a win and a draw in the league and two excellent FA Cup wins they have been on a disastrous 10 game run that has yielded just two points and only two games in which they have scored.

Managed by former Diamonds James Jepson Rugby will be buoyed by a narrow 1-0 defeat at Chasetown and two goals at Loughborough Dynamo in a 3-2 defeat recently, the first goals scored in 6 in the league, but a 5-0 reverse at Shaw Lane will have knocked The Valley back.

Diamonds come into the game off the back an impressive 10 game unbeaten run which includes 4 wins in the last 5. Away form is now the best in the league with 4 wins on the bounce after that opening day last minute defeat at Newcastle. Wins at Carlton Town, Belper Town and then very impressively at Spalding United and Stocksbridge Park Steel show Diamonds fear no one on their travels.

They sit 8th in the league just two points outside the play-offs with tonight’s game one of at least two games in hand on all but Witton Albion above them. They have established their play-off hopeful credentials in this excellent run but know they will have to be as fired up tonight as they were last week at Spalding to gain the win against a side trying so hard to gain that first home win of the season.

Radio Diamonds will be there. I’ll be tuning in from Paphos (cabaret permitting). And we’ll be rooting for another away win before the return to FA Trophy action on Saturday.

Enjoy the game…

Paul Judd

Radio Diamonds Presenter