Diamonds are back in pre-season friendly action on Friday night as old friends Bedford Town visit Hayden Road.
Diamonds suffered first pre-season defeat on Tuesday night thanks to a late Kings Lynn goal at Hayden Road. The two sides were pretty evenly matched especially in the first half with Diamonds seeing one cleared off the line and a Jack Ashton header bounce off the crossbar. National League side Kings Lynn benefited from half-time/second-half substitutions more than Diamonds and controlled the game a little better thanks to the added quality of the players like Jamah Loza. The winning goal came from one of his crosses as a shot off the post was smashed home on the rebound.
Results aren’t the main thing at this stage of pre-season but Bedford went into their last game off the back of three disappointing home friendly defeats to Peterborough Sports, Royston and Wealdstone. They put that run well and truly behind them though with a great goal scoring performance as they beat Deeping Rangers 7-2. Rangers had pulled a goal back to 3-2 on 73 minutes to seemingly get back in the game but like Diamonds against Wellingborough Whitworths Bedford scored 4 times in the last 15 minutes. Dan Walker scored 4 times while Connor Tomlinson hit a brace.
Bedford Town are another reformed side like Kings Lynn Town coming into existence in 1989 after the original club dissolved. The previous incarnation had been around since the 1880s and having reached the highest levels of non-league football applied to join the football league a number of times in the 1950’s. It came off the back of some amazing FA Cup exploits including victory over Norwich City, taking Arsenal to a 3rd round replay and going down to third round defeat to Everton in front of a record 18000 plus crowd. You had to be voted for in those days by teams already in the league and unsurprisingly they garnered very few votes.
The two sides first met competitively in the FA Cup in Diamonds UCL Prem winning season. The game was forced into in a replay at the Eyrie after Matty Gearing earned a 1-1 draw at the Dog & Duck. Diamonds won the game 3-0 in probably their best performance as a team at that point with Tom Lorraine, Jason Turner and Matty Gearing scoring. The sides then played 4 times in full league action in Southern League Division 1 (Central then East) with Diamonds unbeaten with 3 wins and a 0-0 draw. Dan Quigley, Scott Joseph, Tommy Berwick, an o.g. and Ben Farrell scoring in the winning games.
This evening’s game is the second at Hayden Road under lights operating the covid guidelines which allow fans to attend. Please note tickets need to be bought in advance and stewards and officials will be asking you to observe the one way system and the carefully marked standing and sitting areas. We also need fans to co-operate with each other too to ensure social distancing and to ensure we remain able to admit fans safely to the grounds.
Information for supporters ahead of our fixture against Bedford Town – AFC Rushden and Diamonds
Radio Diamonds will be in operation with our trusty Joseph McCormack on the microphone. He has been ever present this season and great to listen to so tune in if you can’t make the game.
PSF Preview: Paul Judd