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)|
|League||Home||Away||Total||Home Att.||Away Att.|
|Total||9-1||4-1||13-2||Av. 575||Av. 354|
|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!!