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