Match Preview: AFC Rushden & Diamonds vs Barwell FC – Tuesday 19th October 7.45 pm KO

Diamonds take on old friends Barwell on Tuesday night in Southern League Premier Central action in the third of four consecutive home games. Two tight games saw a draw against Rushall and defeat on Saturday to Alvechurch so a win on Tuesday night is very much needed by Andy Peaks men to start to show a good haul from the 4 home game sequence .

Barwell would love a home game just now having played the entire season away from home while they have an artificial pitch laid at Kirby Road. It means fixtures have been reversed in the schedule and they will play 13 consecutive home games between December and February next year!!

Barwell

Barwell FC was created in 1992 with the merger of Hinckley and Barwell Athletic. Starting in Midland Combination and moving to Midland Alliance and then Northern Premier League Division One they achieved Step 3 status in 2011 and moved into the Southern League structure.

They reached the semi-finals of the FA Vase early in their existence and reached the First Round proper of the FA Cup in 2015 (beating Diamonds in a dramatic 4th Qualifying Round tie – see below) going out to Welling United 2-0.

Previous Games

That 4th Qualifying Round tie was probably the most dramatic period in Diamonds early history at the Dog & Duck. Barwell were the higher ranked side and Diamonds put in a tremendous performance in front of a large travelling crowd to fight back to a 2-2 draw thanks Liam Dolman’s iconic added time equaliser. The two sides enjoyed being part of the First Round draw on the Monday and then played the replay in front of Diamonds record attendance of with much media attention. An evenly fought game was finally won by Barwell with a 70th minute Brady Hickey goal.

The clubs have clashed five times in Southern League Premier Central action with Diamonds unbeaten in all fixtures. Andy Peaks’ side did the double over Barwell in the 2019/20 season (0-2 at Kirkby Road, 3-1 at Hayden Road) and there have been three draws – all by 1-1 score lines.

Recent form

Diamonds come into the game off the back of no wins in 4 and defeat last time out. Diamonds scored once in all those games but couldn’t find the vital second in any of them which Alvechurch did on Saturday and Royston did at the start of the run…as well as a third. Diamonds have 12 points from 11 games with 3 wins and 5 defeats that have mostly been won by a single goal. A second goal is needed as a minimum on Tuesday.

Barwell sit below Diamonds with 10 points after playing 12 away games. Wins on the opening day at Lowestoft and at the end of September at St. Ives have been surrounded by 4 draws and 6 defeats. 7 were conceded at Biggleswade recently before a 2 1 defeat at Leiston. A third win in the road would encourage Barwell as home games are due to commence at at the start of November.

The Match

The game has the making of another tight contest. The performance of the Diamonds midfield will be key as they try to control the game better than in recent games. If they can release the attacking talent they undoubtedly have more often then goals will surely follow.

We’ll be a tad low on numbers on Tuesday but should have Radio Diamonds, Twitter updates and Stadium Announcer all covered between Joseph and myself. Look out for match report, interviews and highlights too.

Enjoy the game

Paul Judd

Radio Diamonds

AFC Rushden & Diamonds

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