Royston trip brings back memories for Diamonds

The last time AFC Rushden & Diamonds went to Royston Town Jack Bowen opened the scoring before they came away with a memorable 2-1 success in the Southern League Division One Central play-off semi-final. They head back there this weekend with both clubs now at Step 3
The last time AFC Rushden & Diamonds went to Royston Town Jack Bowen opened the scoring before they came away with a memorable 2-1 success in the Southern League Division One Central play-off semi-final. They head back there this weekend with both clubs now at Step 3

Saturday’s trip to Royston Town is likely to bring back some fond memories for AFC Rushden & Diamonds and their followers.

On one of the more memorable nights in the club’s short history back in April 2016, Diamonds beat Royston 2-1 away from home in the Southern League Division One Central play-off semi-final.

Jack Bowen and Liam Dolman, who will both be part of the squad this weekend, scored the goals to send Andy Peaks’ side into the final where they suffered extra-time heartbreak when going down 2-1 to St Ives Town.

Royston followed St Ives up the in the 2016-17 campaign and Diamonds, of course, gained promotion themselves to Step 3 last season.

In an ironic twist, Diamonds’ next Evo-Stik League South Premier Division Central fixture after this weekend is a home clash with St Ives on September 29.

And Peaks said: “It’s another reminder of how far we have come.

“It’s ironic really because our next league game after this one is against St Ives so we are playing the two teams we played in the play-offs that season back-to-back.

“It’s funny how football works sometimes.

“But that night at Royston was a great one for us and I know a lot of people remember it well.

“If we can go and play like we did that evening then we won’t go far wrong this weekend.

“But it’s another really tough game.

“Royston had a good season last year and they have shown signs of that again this time.”

Diamonds have some midweek action ahead of them as well as they head to Peterborough Northern Star in the first round of the NFA Hillier Senior Cup next Tuesday night.