Diamonds take on Barton Rovers on Tuesday night in the penultimate pre-season friendly of the current campaign and the final one here at Hayden Road.
“Rovers” are based in the wonderfully named Barton Le Clay an ancient village that lies between Luton and Bedford and is mentioned in the Norman Domesday Book as Barton (in the clay). A population of c.5000 has supported a football team since 1898 playing mostly in South Midlands and Isthmian League. They had great cup success in the late 70s and early 80s with a number of runs to the later stages of the FA Vase including a final appearance in 77-78 where they were just beaten by Newcastle Blue Star. They also made the FA Cup first round in 80-81 losing to Torquay United. Eventually moved to the Southern League Rovers have twice made promotion play-off appearances recently sadly losing in the final both times to Bedworth United and Farnborough Town.
Diamonds have had great success against Barton Rovers in their Southern League Central Division match-ups wining all four games scoring 14 times and conceding just the once. Amongst Diamond scorers were Claudiu Hoban who scored in both games in 15/16, Dan Quigley, Jon Stevenson, Nabil Shariff and Jack Bowen. Of the current squad Liam Dolman and Ben Farrell scored twice against Rovers with Tom Lorraine and Jack Ashton also scoring.
Diamonds were held to a 1-1 draw on Saturday against Daventry Town with Andy Peaks selection options limited by injury and absence and two first half injuries further affecting his attacking options. He’ll be hoping to get back to something like his strongest line-up tonight with just this and Saturday’s trip to Brackley Town before the season opener against Nuneaton Town on Saturday 19th. Fans will be hoping to get a sighting of new signing Prince Mutswunguma who impressed as a trialist alongside the exciting Will Jones and Lorrell Smith who both came off on Saturday as precautionary measures.
Covid guidelines and precautions need to be followed again to allow fans to be able to attend safely at Hayden Road and that includes purchasing tickets in advance – see attached details
Radio Diamonds are continuing their own pre-season programme which has had us covering more games in pre-season than ever before and we’re really grateful for the many listeners tuning in. We will bring you all the action if you can’t make the game so if you’ve never given us a try tune in on Tuesday night and get involved on twitter @radiodiamonds with any questions or comments.
Match Preview: Paul Judd, Radio Diamonds