Preview: AFC Rushden & Diamonds vs Hitchin Town FC

AFC Rushden & Diamonds turn their attention back to league action this Saturday (25th) as they take on Hitchin Town in a bid to climb the Southern League Premier Central table.

The Diamonds return to Hayden Road after almost a month on the road and Andy Peaks will be looking for his side to replicate their good away form in front of their own supporters.

AFC Rushden & Diamonds

There can be no doubt that Rushden, on paper, were handed a tricky start to the campaign and so it proved with three defeats in their opening four league matches and an FA Cup exit. However, with four points from their last two league games, coupled alongside some exciting late signings, Diamonds have sparked a flicker of optimism that they could yet compete at the top end of the league this term.

Andy Peaks’ young team are continuing to gel with the likes of Patrick Casey, Nathan Tshikuna and Will Jones all harnessing more responsibility and subsequently earning more starts. If Diamonds can maintain their upward trajectory, they still may well be a force to be reckoned with.

Hitchin Town

Hitchin were founded in 1928 but can trace links to a Hitchin Football Club from 1868. They’ve played at Top Field in the town since inception and have played in the Spartan League, Isthmian League and now Southern League since 2000. They had great FA Cup success in the 70s and 90s reaching the second round twice and made the promotion playoffs twice in successive seasons recently losing the second in 2017 agonisingly in extra time.

The Hertfordshire side have made an indifferent start to the season having registered two wins from their opening six league matches and they sit 17th in the table.

Previous Meetings

AFC R&D have historically had the upper hand over the Canaries and some memorable fixtures at that – most notably the 7-1 demolition at Hayden Road last season with now Banbury striker Chris Wreh scoring four goals inside a manic ten-minute spell.

As far as memorable encounters go, we cannot forget the famous 4-3 victory at Top Field in January 2019 where Jack Bowen and Matt Berry-Hargreaves scored two late goals to snatch the three points.

Other meetings include a 2-1 Diamonds win at Hayden Road in November 2018 and a 1-1 draw at Top Field the following season.

Ticket Information

You can purchase your ticket in advance by visiting: https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/afcrd or you can pay by card on the turnstile. Cash entry payments will not be permitted. Admission prices are as follows:

Adult: £11

Concession: £8

Under 16: £8

Under 8: FREE

Under 16 Members: FREE

Catering

Due to the current forecourt fuel shortage our food traders are unable to attend today‘s match against Hitchin Town. We apologise for the inconvenience. The Main Bar and Dales Bar will both be open as usual.

How can I follow the match?

If you are unable to attend Saturday’s game, the Radio Diamonds team will be on hand to bring you live commentary from the match. You can find live text updates on the official club Twitter feed (@AFCRD).

Be sure to watch the post-match interviews on AFCRDTV after the game and have a read of the match report, to be written by Ollie Mortimer.

Match Preview: Joseph McCormack and Paul Judd