Diamonds' unbeaten run will get a stiff examination at the leaders
AFC Rushden & Diamonds' long unbeaten run in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Division One South faces perhaps its stiffest test this weekend.
Diamonds made it 15 league matches without defeat as they drew 1-1 with Lincoln United at the Dog & Duck last Saturday, despite finishing the match with nine men.
But now they are preparing for a trip to leaders Shaw Lane, who are currently two points clear at the summit.
Diamonds have been impressive on the road this season with six wins, one draw and just one defeat from their eight matches away from home.
But, with the table-toppers yet to be beaten on their own patch in the league, something will have to give in South Yorkshire.
“It’s a massive test for us, it will be very tough and it will certainly show us where we are,” Diamonds boss Andy Peaks said.
“We are on this unbeaten run and it’s now up to us to see if we can keep it going.
“They are sitting pretty at the top of the table and we are away from home so it’s going to be an extremely hard game.
“But we have been tough to beat away from home and we have picked up some good victories along the way.
“This is part of an important month for us, we have some big matches ahead of us and this is one of them.
“But I am happy with the position we are in. We are in the hunt.
“I would have liked to have picked more points up at home but, by the same token, some of the wins we have had on the road could easily have been draws so it has evened itself up somewhat.
“We are going to look forward to the challenge this weekend.
“For some reason, we seem to play with more pressure on ourselves at home and I am not sure why that is. But we can go to Shaw Lane feeling relaxed and we will certainly give it a go.”
Diamonds are set to be without Brad Harris and Fazel Koriya who were both sent-off for second bookable last weekend.
“As far as I am aware, they will both be missing which is a blow because they are two good players for us,” Peaks added.
“But we have got a big enough squad to deal with it and this is why we have it in place.”
Diamonds’ busy schedule continues next Tuesday night when they play the reverse league fixture at Lincoln United, a ground on which Peaks’ men were knocked out of the FA Trophy last month.