AFC Rushden & Diamonds regret to inform supporters that the planned Buildbase FA Trophy fixture against Ilkeston Town FC on Saturday 31st October will not take place. AFC Rushden & Diamonds have been given a walk over into the First Round Proper of the competition.

Supporters who have already purchased tickets for the game will receive a refund via TicketSource.

AFC Rushden & Diamonds were ready to host the game, however Ilkeston Town yesterday advised that they would not be fulfilling the fixture “on health and safety grounds”. This was confirmed by Ilkeston Town at 5:40pm this evening in a further email stating that they will “not be sending a team to fulfil the fixture”. This follows a previous Club statement from AFC R&D concerning a positive case of COVID-19 in a member of the first team squad and a subsequent statement confirming that another player who had taken a precautionary test had received a negative result and stating that the fixture would go ahead.

AFC Rushden & Diamonds feel that there are no health and safety grounds which would have prevented the Club from fulfilling the fixture. AFC R&D has at all times followed the FA’s COVID-19 guidance, which is available here, as well as Government guidance here. Our COVID-19 officers carefully considered all relevant factors before concluding that it was safe for the game to proceed, placing the health and well-being of players, staff and supporters from both clubs at the forefront of their considerations.

The Club has today consulted with the Football Association and with Public Health Northants, sharing all relevant information surrounding the positive case of COVID-19.

Public Health Northants have confirmed that they are happy with the precautions which AFC Rushden & Diamonds have taken and that no further specific action is necessary in relation to this positive case.

Based on the information provided to them by AFC Rushden & Diamonds, the Football Association have advised that “With adherence to established risk mitigation measures, under current Public Health guidelines there is no definable risk to public or individual health stemming from this positive case, and therefore there is no basis for the above fixture to be postponed or cancelled.”

The Club has subsequently received information from the FA that “Ilkeston Town have confirmed their withdrawal from the Competition to the FA.

AFC Rushden & Diamonds will now receive a walkover to the next round.”

AFC Rushden & Diamonds has made COVID-19 safety a priority from the outset, including restricting the permitted capacity at Hayden Road to ensure the safety of all in attendance as well as the multitude of safety precautions which are in-place at the ground as well as at other venues which the Club uses.

Information for supporters attending Hayden Road is available here. You can also view our COVID-19 match day plan here. The Club has additionally put together a ‘walk around the ground’ video explaining our COVID-secure precautions which can be found here.