Draw could have been kinder, says Diamonds boss Starmer

AFC Rushden & Diamonds celebrate Alfie Taylor's late winner against Cambridge City. They will now travel to Dover Athletic in the third qualifying round of the FA Cup
AFC Rushden & Diamonds celebrate Alfie Taylor's late winner against Cambridge City. They will now travel to Dover Athletic in the third qualifying round of the FA Cup
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Mark Starmer has conceded the draw “could have been kinder” after FA Cup heroes AFC Rushden & Diamonds were handed a tough trip to Dover Athletic in the third qualifying round.

The ChromaSport & Trophies United Counties League Premier Division Diamonds defied the odds at the weekend as they dumped Calor League Premier Division outfit Cambridge City out of the competition with a thrilling 3-2 success at the Dog & Duck thanks to Alfie Taylor’s last-gasp goal.

But yesterday’s draw handed them a long trek to take on Dover, who are currently in mid-table in the Skrill South.

However, Starmer is staying positive and insists his team will look to cause another huge upset when they head to Kent on Saturday, October 12.

“Obviously, the draw could have been a lot kinder,” the Diamonds boss said.

“It would have been great to be at home but we haven’t had much joy with cup draws this season and I expected us to be away.

“We have to deal with it and get on with it. It will be a massive day for our club.

“What we did on Saturday is still fresh in the mind, it was an amazing afternoon and we deserved everything we got. So when the time comes, we will go to Dover in a positive frame of mind and try to play like we have been recently.

“But we have to stay focused on the important games we have between now and then.”

Diamonds take on landlords Wellingborough Town in a Dog & Duck derby tonight (Tuesday) as the two sides go head-to-head in the first round of the NFA Hillier Senior Cup.

Corby Town, meanwhile, will be at home to Evo-Stik Northern League Premier Division outfit Trafford in the third qualifying round but only if they finish the job against Mickleover Sports in their second qualifying round replay at Steel Park tomorrow (Wednesday) night.

The Steelmen squandered leads of 2-0 and 3-1 at the weekend as Mickleover fought back to earn a 3-3 draw.

And joint-manager Tommy Wright knows the incentive is big if they can make it six wins in a row at Steel Park tomorrow.

“You always want to be at home and that is the reward if we can finish the job off,” said Wright, who scored in Saturday’s stalemate.

“It would represent a good opportunity to go even further but there is no way we can start thinking about that until we have done the business on Wednesday.”

Corby’s replay with Mickleover this week means their Hillier Cup clash with Sileby Rangers will now be re-arranged.