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…..

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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

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