Incentive is big as Diamonds aim to finish the job

AFC Rushden & Diamonds boss Mark Starmer
AFC Rushden & Diamonds boss Mark Starmer

Mark Starmer knows a home draw with Cambridge City is a good incentive for AFC Rushden & Diamonds when they take on Cockfosters in their FA Cup first qualifying round replay at the Dog & Duck tonight (7.45pm).

But the Diamonds boss is urging his team not to get ahead of themselves and to focus solely on this evening’s clash.

Honours ended even in north London at the weekend as Diamonds twice fought back to draw 2-2 thanks to goals from Alfie Taylor and Russ Dunkley.

And, in what is becoming a recurring theme for the ChromaSport & Trophies United Counties League Premier Division side, Starmer is now hoping his team can finish the job on their own pitch and earn themselves a big clash with Calor League Premier Division side Cambridge on September 28.

“The incentive is there to get through to the next round,” Starmer said.

“If we could get through then it would be a big game in front of a big crowd, which would definitely please our chairman.

“So it is a massive game for us tonight but we have to make sure we focus on that and not get ahead of ourselves.

“We have made a habit of drawing away against teams from the Spartan League and beating them at home and obviously we want that to continue.

“But it will be very tough. It was a hard game down there on Saturday and we had to show character to come back and get the draw.

“If we put it together then we will have a very good chance of going through. We must make sure we turn up with the right attitude and try to get the job done.”