Police prepared as Diamonds and Poppies set to collide

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Police say they are prepared to respond to any trouble ‘robustly’ ahead of the clash between Kettering Town and AFC Rushden & Diamonds on New Year’s Day.

The game at Latimer Park is the first competitive league meeting between the arch-rivals since the original Diamonds folded in 2011.

The sides have faced each other in the NFA Hillier Senior Cup and BigFreeBet.com Challenge Cup since then but this will be the fiercest encounter yet with a bumper crowd expected.

Chief Inspector Tom Thompson from the East Midlands Operational Support Service (EMOpSS) said: “There will be a police presence at the game at Latimer Park on New Year’s Day and we are working with both clubs to prevent any disorder and to ensure everyone can enjoy the game.

“The club’s stewards and the police aim to prevent and deter any trouble and to welcome fans to the match.

“However we are equipped, trained and prepared to respond robustly to any crime or disorder.”

READ MORE: No charges over tunnel incident at clash between Poppies and Diamonds

Both sides are flying in the Evo-Stik Southern Premier Central and Ch Insp Thompson said he had a simple message to fans.

He said: “Please attend the game and enjoy it.

“Any crime and disorder will be dealt with by police and stewards working together.”