Diamonds vs Ravens!!

Diamonds return to FA inspired cup action this weekend with an FA Trophy 1st Qualifying Round tie against Coalville Town of the Northern Premier League.

Diamonds won a first ever FA Trophy tie earlier this month to reach this stage, beating Histon FC with an impressive 6-1 away replay success after a home 1-1 draw.

Coalville Town as a Step 3 side enter the competition at this stage. They won promotion from Division One South last season beating Basford United and Shaw Lane Aquaforce in the play-offs while Diamonds were taking on Royston and St. Ives.

They had a good start to their season sitting 9th after 2 wins in their first 4 games, but a run of 5 straight defeats and only two victories in 11 have seen them slip to 20th place. They rarely fail to score on their travels but do tend to concede a few. The Ravens have 4 defeats in the last 5 away from home including shipping 5 at Grantham, 4 at Marine and 3 at Ashton United. They did manage a fantastic 4-0 win at Frickley Athletic this month but were beaten at home last time out 3-2 by lowly Ilkeston.

Diamonds added 7 points from 3 games in a week after that Histon replay success and come into today’s game on an 8 game unbeaten league run. They have just one defeat in 14 now – that FA Cup 3rd Qualifying Round defeat at Step 2 Hendon.

Diamonds are unbeaten at home since the first week of the season but have had a few problems winning games at the Dog & Duck this season.  5 of the last 6 have ended in draws with the only victory secured with an 88th minute penalty against Sheffield FC playing with 10 men.

With experienced players returning from injury, new signings picking up match fitness and squad players performing well in pretty much all positions manager Andy Peaks will have some welcome selection headaches on Saturday.

Diamonds have a good track record against higher ranked teams at the Dog & Duck with the FA Cup victories over Cambridge City and Ashton United particular highlights – and with both prestige and prize money at stake will really fancy their chances of another cup upset.

Radio Diamonds will now be on air on Saturday thanks to the brilliant Ollie Mortimer so if you can’t make the game tune in and look out for the comprehensive twitter updates. I’m told it’s almost as good as being there!!

Paul Judd

Radio Diamonds Presenter (but not this week…..)

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