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|
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|
|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.