Match Preview: Matlock Town FC vs AFC Rushden & Diamonds – FA Trophy – Saturday 30th October – 3 pm KO

Diamonds enter the Buildbase FA Trophy for the 6th time on Saturday, travelling to Northern Premier League leaders Matlock Town for a tough-looking 3rd Round Qualifying tie.

Diamonds will be massively encouraged by the performance at in-form Stratford Town on Tuesday night which produced a first win in 7 games. Matlock are previous winners of the FA Trophy and bounced back from a first home defeat to rivals South Shields with victory at Lancaster City last Saturday.

Matlock Town FC

Matlock were founded in 1878 and played in Derbyshire and Midland leagues before reaching the Northern Premier League in 1969. They had a tremendous Cup record in the mid-1970s, reaching the FA Cup First Round twice, winning on the second occasion in 1976 and going on to the Third Round before defeat at Carlisle United. “The Gladiators” also won the FA Trophy in 1975, winning at Wembley against Scarborough.

Recent Form

Matlock sit proudly top of the Northern Premier League with an impressive 13 wins from 17 games. After an incredible run of 10 wins from 11 they have given hope to rivals with two defeats in the last 4. That includes a first home league defeat to 2nd placed South Shields in their last home game. Possible further encouragement for Diamonds is another home reverse for Matlock in Cup action as they lost disappointingly to Belper Town 3-0 at home in front of over 1,000 in the FA Cup First Round Qualifying.

Diamonds broke that disappointing run of no wins in 6 with an impressive 2-1 win at Stratford Town on Tuesday night. Away form is definitely better than home form for Diamonds who are unbeaten on the road since early defeat at Bromsgrove. They have notched 2 wins at Nuneaton and Stratford and draws at Needham Market and Stourbridge.

The Game

Diamonds have 3 wins and 2 defeats in their first matches in the FA Trophy and have gone through on both the last two occasions. They beat Banbury in a home replay in 2019/2020 and St. Ives at home in 2018/2019. The not-so-good omen is Diamonds went out at good Northern Premier League opposition both times – Witton Albion and South Shields.

Matlock are previous winners of the competition in 1975 and after that poor FA Cup result earlier in the season will be really keen to make progress this weekend.

Radio Diamonds will be on the road again if you can’t make the journey so look out for coverage along with Twitter updates, interviews, and match reports.

Enjoy the game

Paul Judd
Radio Diamonds

AFC Rushden & Diamonds

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