Preview: Northampton ON Chenecks FC vs AFC Rushden & Diamonds – Hillier Senior Cup

AFC Rushden & Diamonds travel to Billing Road on Wednesday 22nd September to face Northampton ON Chenecks at the Old Northamptonians Sports Ground in the NFA Hillier Cup (Kick Off 7.45pm).

Admission prices are as follows:

Adult: £6

Concession (Over 65): £4

U18: FREE

Getting There

For directions for the 15 mile trip from Hayden Road to Old Northamptonians Sports Ground, Billing Road Northampton NN1 5RX see here. The Sports Ground is dominated by a cricket ground, and there is a car park at the ground as shown on that link. Some Diamonds fans might have attended the U18 game last season, but note that was held on the opposite side of Billing Road at Northampton School.

Northampton ON Chenecks

The Old Northamptonians association was founded in 1919 to honour the 94 staff, pupils and former pupils from Northampton School for Boys who lost their life in the First World War. A football team for former pupils was created as Chenecks FC in 1946 and became part of the ON’s Association in 1960 moving to play at the Billing Road playing fields.

Chenecks played in United Counties league lowest division for many years due to ground restrictions that also prevented them playing in any FA competitions. In 2014/2015 floodlights and ground improvements were implemented that finally allowed them to take promotion to UCL Premier Division South (Step 5) after finishing 2nd in 2015/2016 and to start playing in the FA Cup and FA Vase.

Current Form

Chenecks have had a torrid start to the season losing all 8 league games and scoring just the 1 goal with a -29 goal difference. The last 5 games have seen 17 conceded and none scored to leave them with only Biggleswade United below them who are also pointless but with a -50 goal difference.

The FA Cup gave encouragement to Chenecks though with a hard fought replay win against Godmanchester followed by a narrow 1-0 defeat at Kirkley Pakefield. 

Previous Games

The two sides have competed in the Hiller Cup once before with a 2018/2019 quarter-final tie at Hayden Road won by Diamonds 1-0 thanks to Ben Diamond’s late effort.

They have also played in league action in Diamonds very first season in UCL Division One. Both games were tight competitive affairs with Diamonds winning the home game 2-0 thanks to Sean McBride and an OG, and the away game on the promotion run-in 2-1 with centre-halves Alex Deakin and Chris Hope scoring the vital goals.

The Game

Manager Andy Peaks has already indicated he will look to give squad players minutes on Wednesday night with youth players also given a chance to impress. 4 points from two tough away games prior to the week off has put Diamonds in good spirits and despite not going completely full-strength Andy Peaks will want to win the tie and make progress in a competition he has won twice before.

Chenecks will be well motivated for the occasion and buoyed by the closeness of previous encounters between the sides and the unique nature of the environment at Billing Road. Midweek cup games under the lights always make for cracking entertainment.

Radio Diamonds will now be broadcasting with in game twitter updates also available. Interviews and a match report will follow soon after the game so keep an eye out for all the information.

Enjoy the game

Paul Judd

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