Good afternoon and welcome to Hayden Road for our first Saturday fixture of the new season. We extend a warm welcome to the players, management, officials and supporters of Ilkeston Town and hope you all enjoy your short stay with us.

Our first match of the season took us to Greenwich Avenue and Basford United on an extremely hot day. It was a cruel end to the afternoon with us conceding late to lose the match. Overall, it was a great performance and on another day we would have come away with at least a point.

We then returned to Hayden Road to host Hitchin Town on a night where the conditions swung to new extremes with the pouring rain. It was a frustrating night as we tasted another defeat, but it was nice to renew acquaintances with another club that we have enjoyed a good relationship with over the years.

Over the two matches we saw flashes of the team that Andy is assembling and although we find ourselves in unfamiliar territory at the moment it will not be long before we climb our way up the table. We are not football experts, far from it, but transition is just that and something that AFC Rushden & Diamonds is experiencing both on and off the pitch right now. It will take time and require us all to be patient and tolerant as we work together.

Off the pitch we are close to finalising a new lease at Hayden Road and should also have some good news to report on the new home in a few weeks. These are two positive moves as we continue to build on the success of our football club. It is also great to see the refurbished club shop is now open. Please drop in and say hello to the guys and give them some feedback on the changes.

If you have been on holiday this summer we hope you had an enjoyable time and are ready to give the team a boost by continuing your amazing support.

Enjoy the game today and have a safe journey home.

All the best

Matt and Chris