Diamonds face their toughest test yet of pre-season with the visit of National League side King’s Lynn Town to Hayden Road.
The Linnets secured promotion from National League North after the voided 2019-2020 season was finally decided on a point’s per game basis. It pushed King’s Lynn above York City to become champions and they start the new season just one step from the Football League.
The club only came into existence in 2010 after King’s Lynn FC were wound up and they just preceded Diamonds time in the United Counties League as they looked to climb the football pyramid. The “Linnets” were admitted straight to the UCL Premier and having gained promotion at the second attempt they won the Northern Premier League Division One South at the first attempt.
The ambitious club were transferred to the Southern League Premier set-up and despite initial play-off disappointment finally managed promotion to the National League North through a super play-off success after finishing runners-up to Kettering Town in 2018/2019. Diamonds had been placed in the same league for that season after their own promotion success and were unbeaten in the two games between the sides. Declan Rogers earning a 1-1 draw in King’s Lynn and Tom Lorraine a 1-0 win at Hayden Road.
Diamonds have won their three pre-season games to date against United Counties League and Southern League opposition scoring 14 goals and conceding 3. The squad is looking in good shape with cover in all positions and some promising trialists pushing for inclusion. Andy Peaks may give us a clue to his league starting line-up in this high profile match-up but there are still a number of players needing playing time to build match fitness.
It is fantastic news that fans can attend this first game of the season at Hayden Road as they did at Kempston on Saturday. The attendance will be limited to 300 and tickets have to be purchased in advance to ensure track and trace information. There will be changes around the ground with one-way systems and designated standing and setting areas. It will be really important to follow guidelines and instructions to ensure fan attendance can continue.
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It should be a great atmosphere under the lights at Hayden Road and Radio Diamonds will be covering the game for those unable to make the trip. With over 100 listeners for the two games covered to date its clear there is plenty of interest in Diamonds post lockdown pre-season campaign and this game should be a cracker.
Paul Judd Radio Diamonds