Match Preview: AFC Rushden & Diamonds vs Needham Market

Diamonds host Needham Market on Saturday (6 August, 3:00 pm kick-off) for the opening day of the 2022/23 Pitching In Southern League Premier Central.

Admission prices are as follows:

Adults: £11

Concessions: £8

Students: £8

Under 21s: £6

Under 16s: £2

Tickets can be purchased in advance here or you can pay on-the-gate.

Our visitors

They play at Bloomfields and finished 12th in the division last season.  The Marketmen are managed by Kevin Horlock and played seven pre-season friendlies, winning three, drawing two and losing their remaining two.

To find out more about the club, visit their website here.

Rushden’s pre-season

Diamonds played nine pre-season friendlies in all, winning two, drawing three and losing four.

 An opening draw at Kempston (3-3) was followed by defeats to MK Dons (0-4), Stamford (5-3) and Loughborough Students (1-4). After that Rushden went unbeaten in progressing to the next round of the NFA Hillier Cup after defeating Cogenhoe on penalties following a 1-1 draw, another 1-1 draw was played out in a behind-closed-doors match against a Northampton Town XI before a 3-0 victory at Daventry and then a further 1-1 draw against National League North side Brackley Town. Pre-season was concluded with a 0-6 defeat at home to the Luton Town Development Squad.

The new signings so far have Matt Lars Fossen, Courtney Lashley, Evenagelos-Nikalaos Epochontsif, Nathan Hicks, Jenson Cooper and Tyrese Sutherland. Scholar Luis Pinto-Leite has also signed Southern League forms along with Ben Morley, Josh Going, Nigel Chikamba and Fraser Corden.

Meetings between the clubs

Diamonds and Needham Market have faced each other on six occasions, with Diamonds emerging victorious in three, Needham winning two and one draw.

The full list of results between the two sides is:

Needham Market 1-5 Diamonds (Diamond, Bowen, Rogers, Lorraine, Hopkins) – Southern League Premier Central, 6th October 2018

Diamonds 2-1 Needham Market (Rogers, Bowen) – Southern League Premier Central, 16th March 2019

Diamonds 1-2 Needham Market (Dove) – Southern League Challenge Cup Third Round, 3rd December 2019

Diamonds 1-2 Needham Market (Farrell pen) – Southern League Premier Central, 28th January 2020

Needham Market 2-2 Diamonds (Akubuine, Collard) – Southern League Premier Central, 14th September 2021

Diamonds 2-0 Needham Market (Collard, Deacon) – Southern League Premier Central, 18th January 2022

Opening day record

Since the formation of the phoenix club, Diamonds have won six, drawn two and lost two of their opening fixtures. Only one of the defeats has come at home – last season in a 0-2 reverse against eventual champions Banbury United.

Can’t make the game?

Our Radio Diamonds team will be providing live commentary as the action unfolds – tune in at Listeners will be able to message with their comments and thoughts on 07394 309591.

We will also doing live updates on our Twitter account at Highlights and interviews will be available after the game at

Match preview: Ollie Mortimer

AFC Rushden & Diamonds

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