Dolman and Diamonds will give it a real go

Liam Dolman and his AFC Rushden & Diamonds team-mates face a tough task at Alfreton Town in the FA Cup this weekend
Liam Dolman and his AFC Rushden & Diamonds team-mates face a tough task at Alfreton Town in the FA Cup this weekend

Liam Dolman is certain AFC Rushden & Diamonds will “give it a real go” when they head to Alfreton Town on Saturday.

Diamonds have been handed a tough task in the second qualifying round of the Emirates FA Cup as they make the trip to the Impact Arena to take on a Reds team who currently sit in ninth place in the Vanarama National League North.

And Andy Peaks’ team will head there looking to bounce back from their first defeat of the season after they were beaten 2-1 by Beaconsfield Town at Hayden Road in the Evo-Stik South League East last weekend.

Alfreton drew 1-1 against Brackley Town on Tuesday to extend their current unbeaten run to five matches.

Former Kettering Town man Craig Westcarr was on target for the Reds in midweek as they hit back from a goal down to hold Brackley to a draw.

Dolman, who missed a first-half penalty in last Saturday’s loss, knows he and his team-mates will have to improve if they are to get anything from the tie.

But Diamonds did win 3-1 at National League South side Concord Rangers at this stage last season.

And that is enough to give Dolman the belief

that they can cause another upset.

“We will have to turn up with the right attitude and put in a better performance,” the central defender said.

“We will go there as underdogs but we proved we can do it last year when we won at Concord Rangers.

“Playing at the level we are, you always want to test yourselves against sides from a higher level.

“We have got the opportunity to go there and put a real show on.

“It’s going to be a very tough test, there’s no doubt about that.

“But I am confident that with the group of players and management staff we have here that we will go up there and give it a real go.”

Dolman branded Diamonds’ display against Beaconsfield as “unacceptable” in the wake of the loss, which came after Darryl Smith had given them a half-time advantage.

Peaks and his players have now had all week to reflect on a game in which they never really got going while the result saw them displaced from the top of the early standings.

And Dolman added: “I wish we’d had a game on Tuesday to be honest because the best way to bounce back is with a game straight away.

“I just hope Alfreton had a scout at the game on Saturday and we can go there and surprise them with a much better performance.”