Still all to play for as AFC Rushden & Diamonds prepare for Lye Town trip

​There are just nine games left for AFC Rushden & Diamonds to avoid relegation and secure their step four status, writes CHRIS BARRITT.
AFC Rushden & Diamonds player-boss Michael HarrimanAFC Rushden & Diamonds player-boss Michael Harriman
AFC Rushden & Diamonds player-boss Michael Harriman

After a topsy-turvy week which saw them beat Coleshill 4-0 before losing heavily at home to Quorn, Diamonds face another tricky game this weekend, at home to play-off hopefuls Lye Town.

Following three consecutive defeats, the west midlands side have won three of their past five games and sit seventh in the Northern Premier League Midlands Division – five points adrift of the play-off places.

The Lye man to watch is striker Joe Palmer.

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He has 13 goals to his name and scored two last weekend as Lye beat Walsall Wood 3-0.

When these two sides met in early December, Lye won 2-1, with Cairo Taylor scoring a late consolation goal.

Prior to the game against Diamonds, Lye were due to play at promotion-chasing Spalding on Tuesday evening.

Two of Rushden’s squad members have been getting game time for other clubs at step five.

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John Dean hasn’t been included in Diamonds' two most recent games, but the wide man was able to take advantage of dual-registration rules, turning out for Daventry Town.

With no game for Rushden last weekend, utility player Tejan Thomas turned out for Cogenhoe United in the UCL Premier Division South, although he didn’t play in the second half due to illness.

Despite their disappointing display against Quorn, Rushden are still in control of their own destiny.

They remain in the relegation zone, level on points with bottom team Gresley Rovers but ahead of them on goal difference.

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Rugby Town are still three points ahead of their two rivals and remain one place above the drop zone.

However, on the same day that Diamonds shipped five goals, Rugby went down 6-0 at Anstey Nomads, leaving the east Northants side three goals better off on goal difference

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