Crowd can give Diamonds the advantage

AFC Rushden & Diamonds manager Mark Starmer
AFC Rushden & Diamonds manager Mark Starmer

AFC Rushden & Diamonds boss Mark Starmer thinks that home support can provide an edge in the FA Carlsberg Vase clash with Basford United.

The Diamonds, on the back of two UCL Division One victories on home turf, welcome the East Midlands Counties league outfit to the Dog & Duck this weekend for the second round tie.

And Starmer says that his players are now used to playing in front of gates that are way above the average for the level.

He said: “We’ve won the past couple of games in the first half whereas in the past we’ve only got on top in the second half which shows the crowd isn’t affecting us as much.

“The crowd are a vital part of that, they get behind us and don’t give us any stick and while it can also be a plus for the opposition, it is helping us and that is showing in the results.”

Also in Vase action on Saturday are Desborough Town who are on the road at Causeway United, a fixture that isn’t giving manager Steve Walker any headaches becuase of his side’s excellent away form.

“We’ve been doing really well away from home and that will give us plenty of confidence.

“We try to play the same way in every game and Saturday won’t be any different.”

In the Premier Division, Irchester visit fellow strugglers Harborough Town looking to build on their 1-1 draw with AFC Kempston in the week, a result that ended an 11-match losing streak.

S&L Corby, who had their midweek clash with Shepshed Dynamo postponed due to a waterlogged pitch at Occupation Road, host Quorn.

The standout game in Division One sees the bottom two go head-to-head at Ford Meadow with Buckingham entertaining Burton Park Wanderers.

The side shave mustered just three wins between them this season and are in desperate need of points.

Raunds travel to ON Chenecks, Whitworth visit Bourne, Thrapston are on the road at Potton and Rushden & Higham host Harrowby.