Diamonds welcome Thame United to Hayden Road on Saturday with memories of a hot summer night and a first away win of the season in the Oxfordshire sunshine back in August.
Diamonds had won that first nervous Hayden Road game against Hanwell Town on the first day of the season and ventured to new territory on the following Tuesday at the really nice set-up Thame United have on the outskirts of the Oxfordshire town.
I remember the sun bathing us in the neat stand where we were located as it gradually set behind the trees on the far side of the ground. Diamonds bathed us in glorious football that night too with some great play against fancied opponents newly promoted into the league.
Two early goals from Nabil Shariff and Liam Dolman gave Diamonds control of the game and a second for Shariff early in the second half clinched the result. New signings Joel Gyasi and Luke Fairlamb impressed the travelling fans and they have gone on to be a massive part of Diamonds success this season.
Thame were promoted last season and had won their opening game impressively at Chalfont St. Peter. The defeat to Diamonds started a run of 4 defeats in 5 and saw them slip to the bottom 5 which seemed a false position for such a talented side.
Form evened out with a mix of wins and defeats pushing them back towards mid-table including good home wins against Bedford Town and Ashford Town. A last league defeat came at Marlow in October as a 6 game unbeaten run has seen Thame up into the top half of the table and just 5 points from the play-off positions.
They have struggled against the top 6 sides with home defeat to Diamonds, Beaconsfield, AFC Dunstable and Moneyfields in that early part of the season and away defeat at Cambridge City. They have found good goal scoring form in this recent run though with 9 in the last 3 games and will be a confident side heading to Hayden road.
Diamonds have been beaten only twice this season in the league at home by Beaconsfield (Sept) and away at Hayes & Yeading (Oct). They are on a fantastic run of 7 wins from 8 since that Hayes & Yeading defeat which would have been 8 from 8 without that late late Moneyfields equaliser. Only Uxbridge and Moneyfields have scored against Diamonds in that run and only Moneyfields have managed to score at Hayden Road since 9th September in the league.
This last home game before Christmas is a perfect opportunity to pick up some great offers from the club shop just inside the ground. The Club shop will also be open from 10.30 on Sunday morning in the Oak Room at the ground to get those final bargains for the year.
Then on Wednesday evening don’t forget the Carol Service at All Saints Church, Midland Road, Wellingborough with at 7.30.
Plenty of opportunity to get into the festive spirit which will hopefully start with a cracking game between two in form sides to warm you on crisp Saturday afternoon.
Enjoy the game