Hednesford Town v AFC Rushden & Diamonds
Hednesford Town make a swift return to the RACE stadium tomorrow afternoon in the Southern Premier League Central as they face a bottom-of-the-table clash against AFC Rushden & Diamonds.
The visitors had a fantastic season last season where they were on course for the play-offs until manager Andy Peaks was tempted by the managerial vacancy at Tamworth. However, defeats in their final two league games of the season allowed Alvechurch to clinch the final place in the play-offs in a dramatic last day.
Diamonds have also had a difficult start to this season and were bottom of the table until recently. They only picked up two points from their opening seven games of the season until they earned their first win of the campaign with a 2-1 away win at Barwell last Saturday. On Tuesday they were beaten 7-0 at home by high flying Coalville Town. Their manager is Andy Burgess who the older fans amongst us will remember playing against us in the Conference as a winger at the old Rushden & Diamonds club, before he had a successful football league career with the likes of Oxford, Luton and Mansfield.
AFC Rushden & Diamonds were founded in 2011 and joined the United Counties League. The club has had a number of promotions since and has never finished below 9th in any completed season in their history.
These two teams are the lowest scoring teams in the league at present and occupy the bottom two places in the table. Despite their 7-0 defeat on Tuesday it will still be a difficult game as we know from when Bedford won here having conceded eight in their previous game.
Hednesford will be without striker Riley O’Sullivan for the next three months due to the bad ankle injury suffered at Coalville last weekend and midfielder Luke Rowe’s knee injury hasn’t cleared up but otherwise the management team have a fully fit and available squad.
The management team believes it will be an interesting game with the two clubs’ league positions and said: “Rushden will be hurting after their defeat against Coalville and they will coming here fancying their chances as we are winless. We expect a tough game but we appreciate we will also need to be better than we were on Tuesday.”
The Pitmen’s squad has been boosted with the arrivals of experienced centre half Keith Lowe and midfielder Samir Nabi and the management team said: “ Lowey is a great signing for us and was one of our key targets so getting him in is massive for us. He is a leader and his vast experience will benefit everyone in the squad but he is also a very good player so we are looking forward to seeing him in action.”
Kick off is at 3pm so let’s all get to the RACE stadium to cheer the Pitmen on to a much needed victory.