UCL Preview – Diamonds boss Starmer happy to have FA Cup distraction

AFC Rushden & Diamonds boss Mark Starmer

AFC Rushden & Diamonds boss Mark Starmer

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Mark Starmer is happy for AFC Rushden & Diamonds to have the distraction of the FA Cup in their schedule.

Having won back-to-back matches at the start of the ChromaSport & Trophies United Counties League Premier Division, Diamonds made progress in the FA Cup with a 6-1 demolition of London Colney in Tuesday’s extra preliminary round replay after a 1-1 draw in the capital last weekend.

They return to league action against Sleaford Town at the Dog & Duck tomorrow (Saturday) but a trip to Calor League Division One Central side Northwood beckons in the preliminary round next weekend.

And Starmer said: “Obviously you want to do well in every competition and the FA Cup is always special.

“I wasn’t too pleased with how we performed last Saturday but the players responded in the perfect manner on Tuesday. It was an excellent performance.

“It sets up another tough game at Northwood but if we can produce the sort of display we had on Tuesday then we will be in with a shout.

“It is still early days in the league but it is good to have a distraction like the FA Cup. But the most important thing is that we are starting to build up a winning habit.”

It is derby day at the S6 Stadium on Saturday as Desborough Town, who were also successful in the FA Cup with a 3-1 victory over Oadby Town last weekend, take on neighbours Harborough Town in the Premier Division, while Wellingborough Town head to Deeping after they were beaten 5-3 after extra-time at Greenhouse FC in their FA Cup replay on Tuesday.

New Stewarts & Lloyds boss Kevin Byrne saw his team also suffer replay heartache in midweek as they went down 2-1 at Arnold Town. Byrne takes charge of his first league game this weekend with a trip to Newport Pagnell.

In Division One, Raunds Town will be looking to maintain their unbeaten start to the season when they host Irchester United in a local derby at Kiln Park.

Burton Park Wanderers travel to Buckingham Town and Rushden & Higham are also on the road at Woodford United.

Thrapston Town were beaten 2-1 at Buckingham in midweek and go to St Neots Saints tomorrow while Rothwell Corinthians will be looking to halt a three-game losing streak at Harrowby.

Whitworth lost 3-1 at Potton United on Wednesday night and they are in earlier action this weekend with a trip to Northampton Spencer tonight (Friday).