AFC Rushden & Diamonds will continue their pre-season campaign with a trip to face Melton Town on Tuesday evening.

Melton Town are at Non-League Step 6, and finished last seasons United Counties league season in 16th place. The new management team will be familiar to Diamonds fans, as Tom Manship and John Stevenson have been appointed as joint managers. Melton Town play at Melton Sports Village, Burton Rd, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire LE13 1DR. Please note that kick-off time is 7:30pm.

The remaining pre-season games are detailed below, and they are also shown on the main fixture grid (the league fixtures will be announced on Thursday July 19th). The aim of this season’s pre-season campaign is to ensure that the team prepares appropriately for our first season in Step 3.


Friday 13th July v Newport Pagnell (Away) – KO 7:30pm (Won 3-0)

Tuesday  17th July v Melton Town (Away) – KO 7:30pm

Saturday 21st July v Rushden & Higham Utd (Home)

Tuesday 24th July v Brackley Town (Home)

Saturday 28th July v Enfield Town (Home)

Tuesday 31st July v Kempston Rovers (Away)

Saturday 4th August v Bishops Stortford. (Away)

Admission prices will be £5 adults and £3 concessions for home pre-season games.

Our joint friendly with Rushden & Higham United will take place on Saturday 21st July. The proceeds of the game will be shared evenly between the teams. The game will again be played for the Chris Ruff Memorial Trophy. Chris was a long standing club secretary of Higham Town and Rushden & Higham United. Rushden & Higham finished last seasons UCL Division One in 9th place. See here for directions and ground details.

On Tuesday 24th July the Diamonds welcome the current holders of the FA Trophy, Brackley Town. Despite the heartache of play off final defeat to Harrogate the week before, familiar face Kevin Wilkin led his side to victory over higher opposition Bromley. Bromley took the lead, and Brackley needed a last minute equaliser to take the tie into extra time with victory secured on penalties. See here for directions and ground details.

On Saturday 28th July, AFC Rushden & Diamonds will host fellow support-owned club Enfield Town in the Dale Roberts Memorial Cup. An Isthmian League opponent, Enfield finished 17th in the Premier Division last season, so will pose challenging opponents for the Diamonds. Entrance for the tie will be at the normal gate prices for friendly games, but there will be bucket collections for the Memorial Fund at the turnstiles and around the ground. See here for directions and ground details.

We are pleased to announce that we will again be playing our friends from Kempston Rovers with the game to be played on Tuesday 31st July at Hillgrounds. The tie has also been given special designation, as the game will be for the Harry Robinson Trophy. As well as being a Trustee, groundsman and linesman, Harry Robinson was club secretary  of Kempston Rovers for 24 years. He suffered from Parkinson’s Disease and in 1990 as he was becoming increasingly frail the club decided to honour his service with the Harry Robinson Trophy. This was played for once a year with the Rovers playing a team by invitation. The first game was on 21 August 1990 against Cambridge United and the Rovers lost 3-1. Harry watched the game but unfortunately was too frail to present the trophy so his wife Marge did it on his behalf. The game is being played at Hillgrounds Stadium, Hillgrounds Road, Kempston, Bedfordshire MK42 8SZ  – see here for directions from Rushden.

Bishops Stortford will be the Diamonds final test ahead of the new season on Saturday August 4th. The Blues finished 18th in last years Southern League Premier, having been relegated from Step 2 the year previously. The Diamonds will visit the ProKit UK Stadium, ahead of both sides opening games in the Isthmian Premier and Southern League Premier Division Central games which kick off the weekend after. The match will be played at Dunmow Road, Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire CM23 5RG directions here.



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