Bunting knows Diamonds will be prepared for big clash at Chalfont

AFC Rushden & Diamonds captain Richard Bunting

AFC Rushden & Diamonds captain Richard Bunting

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Richard Bunting insists AFC Rushden & Diamonds will be fully prepared for everything Chalfont St Peter throw at them in the top-of-the-table clash on Saturday.

The Diamonds skipper was the hero at Uxbridge last weekend as his 90th-minute strike sealed a fine 1-0 success to keep them on top of the Evo-Stik Southern League Division One Central.

Chalfont remain just behind them on goal difference, although they have played two games more, after they were 2-1 winners at Royston Town.

The two teams are now set to go head-to-head in Buckinghamshire while Diamonds then play Egham Town at the Dog & Duck next Tuesday night.

Diamonds recorded a 3-1 home success over Chalfont back in August and, since then, both teams have emerged as title contenders.

And while Bunting knows he and his team-mates must take it “game by game” he is aware that some will have looked closely at the league table ahead of the big clash.

“We know from playing them at home that they are a really good side,” the Diamonds captain said.

“We are fully aware of the dangers they will present to us and we will go there with a game plan.

“I think people would be lying if they said they hadn’t looked at the league table and worked out what the situation could look like after we have played each other.

“But all we can do is just take it game by game and focus on the next one.

“We have a lot of matches coming up over the festive period and we just have to try to keep ticking them off.”

Bunting, meanwhile, is hoping he can continue to contribute in the goals department.

His timely strike last weekend was just his second goal of the season with manager Andy Peaks even joking that the skipper’s winner “wasn’t part of the game plan”.

And Bunting added: “I think both teams had pretty much settled for a draw but a bit of space opened up and I just went for it.

“Fortunately for me, it has gone in and it has earned us what will hopefully prove to be a good three points.

“It’s always nice to get a goal. I think my main role is to make sure there is a bit of protection in front of the back four.

“But it’s always good to see everyone chipping in with goals.

“The defenders have got a few between them and hopefully I can score a few more myself.”