Diamonds set for first part of a Banbury double-header

AFC Rushden & Diamonds and Banbury United are ready to do battle in a double-header at Hayden Road over the next few days.

Tuesday, 22nd October 2019, 8:30 am
The AFC Rushden & Diamonds players celebrate Liam Dolman's goal during the 1-1 draw at Rushall Olympic on Saturday. Picture courtesy of HawkinsImages

The two teams meet this evening (Tuesday) in the BetVictor Southern League Premier Central before doing it all over again on Saturday after they were paired together in the first qualifying round of the Buildbase FA Trophy.

Diamonds head into tonight’s clash having halted a run of three defeats in a row with a 1-1 draw at Rushall Olympic at the weekend.

At the same time, a late winner earned Banbury a 3-2 home success over Biggleswade Town - a result that sent the Puritans up to second in the table.

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It all adds up to create another tricky examination for Andy Peaks’ team, who sit in 10th place but are now without a win in the league since they beat St Ives Town 1-0 at Hayden Road on August 26.

“We knew this was going to be a tough spell and I think people must stay realistic,” Peaks said.

“It was a good point at the weekend but now we find ourselves up against another team who are flying and moved up to second on Saturday.

“I think Banbury probably under-achieved a bit last season but they have started really well this time and it is going to be another big test for us.

“It’s a bit unusual to be playing the same team on a Tuesday night and then again on the Saturday but we are looking forward to both games.”

Diamonds will be boosted by the return of defender Zack Reynolds after he completed a three-game suspension while striker Jordan McLeod is standing by to make his debut after joining the club at the weekend.