Dolman knows Diamonds will work hard in a tough month

Lincoln United got the better of AFC Rushden & Diamonds in the FA Trophy last month. The two teams meet in the league this weekend
Lincoln United got the better of AFC Rushden & Diamonds in the FA Trophy last month. The two teams meet in the league this weekend

Liam Dolman insists AFC Rushden & Diamonds are “ready to work hard” as they gear up for a potentially pivotal few matches in their season.

Diamonds have plenty of momentum behind them after Dolman and the returning Fazel Koriya secured a 2-1 success at Gresley FC last weekend to make it 14 matches without defeat in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Division One South.

And they followed that up by edging out Corby Town 2-1 in the first round of the Integro League Cup on Tuesday night as Dolman grabbed both goals to sink the Steelmen.

Now the focus is back on the league and a home clash with Lincoln United, the team who knocked Diamonds out of the FA Trophy in a second qualifying round replay.

Tomorrow’s (Saturday) match is followed by clashes with leaders Shaw Lane, the reverse at Lincoln and then Stamford and Chasetown over the festive period.

Diamonds sit just a point outside the play-off places going into this weekend and the influential Dolman is looking forward to the big games that lie ahead.

“It will be a tough test, we know what they (Lincoln) are all about and we owe them one,” the central defender said.

“But they come here knowing that they can beat us so we have to be aware of that.

“We just have to keep doing what we are doing and not worry about anyone else. We will give them respect but we need to keep working hard.

“Performances haven’t been up there to the highest standard and we have had to grind results out.

“We wouldn’t be at this level if we were going to play well every week.

“But we have a mentality now where if we don’t play well, we have to grind results out like we did last Saturday when we were under the cosh for the last 10 minutes.

“We have now got a very big month. It’s a tough run of fixtures, they probably couldn’t be much tougher.

“But we are ready to work hard and put shifts in on the pitch and hopefully get our rewards from it.”

Dolman, who was fairly modest about his goalscoring exploits in the last two games, has recently returned following a calf injury and he is now keen to be part of the big games that are coming up.

He added: “It doesn’t matter who scores the goals really. I was just there when it mattered.

“I was pleased to get the two goals on Tuesday but the most important thing was that we got through.

“I have had a couple of niggling injuries this season but I’ve said it all along, I need to play games to get match fit.

“It was good to play again on Tuesday and I hope I can get a run of games. We have some big matches coming up and I want to be involved in them.”