Selection crisis hits Diamonds ahead of Trophy replay
AFC Rushden & Diamonds are facing an untimely selection crisis for tonight's (Tuesday) Buildbase FA Trophy second qualifying round replay at Lincoln United.
Diamonds drew 3-3 with their Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Division One South rivals in a pulsating clash at the Dog & Duck on Saturday.
But they head into this evening’s replay facing the prospect of having seven first-team players absent for a variety of reasons.
Top scorer Nabil Shariff and utility man Brad Harris both miss out as they serve one-match bans while key defenders Liam Dolman (calf) and Jack Ashton (knee) will both miss out again.
Ross Oulton remains a long-term absentee with a knee injury but Diamonds could also be without Sam Brown (foot) and Tom Lorraine, who has been suffering from illness since the weekend.
The only boost for boss Andy Peaks is that defender Rory Winters is available again after serving a two-match ban.
Despite those injuries and suspensions, Peaks is hoping his team can find a way to get through and he believes a “massive incentive” with a trip to Vanarama National League North side Kidderminster Harriers awaiting the winners.
“It’s a massive incentive for both teams, the winner will get a game against one of the most famous clubs in non-League football,” the Diamonds boss said.
“It would be great if we could get through because there was a lot of history between Kidderminster and Rushden & Diamonds and that stretches back to when I was playing.
“But if we are going to get through we will certainly have to defend a lot better than we did at the weekend because we gave some soft goals away.
“They are at home and I am sure they will fancy it but we have got to work hard and make sure we are difficult to break down.
“It’s going to be tough. We may well have seven players missing who would normally be part of things.
“But anyone who knows me and my teams will know that we will go there and give it a real go.”