We can go all the way, says Diamonds boss Starmer

AFC Rushden & Diamonds boss Mark Starmer

AFC Rushden & Diamonds boss Mark Starmer

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Mark Starmer believes AFC Rushden & Diamonds can “go all the way” in the FA Vase this season.

The ChromaSport & Trophies United Counties League Premier Division high-fliers booked their place in the last 32 of the competition with a 2-0 success over Graham Street Prims in front of over 500 fans at the Dog & Duck.

The draw for the fourth round takes place tomorrow (Monday) lunchtime with the tie itself due to be played on January 18.

And, having gone one better than last season, Starmer and his players now find themselves five games away from Wembley after goals from Matt Gearing and substitute Deven Ellwood secured their safe progress on Saturday.

That made it nine wins in a row in all competitions and continued an excellent record in knockout competitions this season after Diamonds also enjoyed a fine run in the FA Cup.

And Starmer knows his team have what it takes to ensure their run in the Vase goes on.

“We have got a lot of belief in the squad, the players trust one another,” Starmer said.

“We enjoy the cup competitions and we believe we can go all the way in this one, you have to think that way.

“Of course, you are always looking for a bit of help in the draws and we will be hoping for a home tie when the draw is made tomorrow.

“But we showed when we beat Cambridge City in the FA Cup earlier in the season that, on our day, we can beat anyone in and around this level.

“The further you go in competitions, the harder the games get but we have gone one better than last season and we don’t want it to end.

“It was a tough game on Saturday, just like we expected. They came and worked very hard.

“We played well without ever being at our best and we just had that extra bit of quality that you need in tough games like that.”

Diamonds go straight into another huge game next weekend when they travel to UCL leaders Spalding United, who have won 17 matches in a row since the start of the season.