STAGSNET`S STATISTICAL PREVIEW
The Stags hope to get back to winning ways when they face Rushden & Diamonds at home on Saturday – and this weekend's fixture is one between two sides who most recently have had their problems. While the Stags haven't won since October 16, a 3-1 at home to Notts County, the Diamonds have lost four in a row since they, incidentally, crushed Notts County 5-1 a fortnight after the Stags had stuffed the Magpies.
Like the Stags two seasons ago, Rushden & Diamonds only survived one season above the basement. But the Diamonds were up to the final third of last season sitting in lower mid-table scoring loads of goals and also conceding. But then the Diamonds' problems both on and off the field started. Financial problems led to selling their best players – and the manager Brian Talbot, who had steered the Diamonds from the Conf to Division Two in just three seasons, left for Oldham. Maybe the rise had gone too quickly? The writing was on the wall – and after scoring only 11 goals in the last 16 outings, the last five goalless, just one point in the last nine league games in 2003-04 – the Diamonds' relegation was inevitable. Their failure to sparkle have continued in the lower sphere, and a pointer was the opening-day goalless home draw against bottom club Kidderminster, the new club of the former Stags' manager Stuart Watkiss. And only on TWO occasions have the Diamonds scored more than once in a league game this season – and nine without even finding the net.
The teams have only met once before in league fixtures at Field Mill. This happened at the end of the 2001-02 season, when the then league new boys won 4-1 thanks to three goals from Onandi Lowe, one of the players sold in early 2004. The Stags goal-scorer then was Adam Murray, one of only two Stags players in the side now at the club. The other is Wayne Corden, while former Stag Mark Peters, currently on loan to Aldershot from Leyton Orient, starred for the Diamonds in both fixtures in 2001-02, the only ones in league history between the Stags and the Diamonds.
Played for both sides: Neil Burns (as Rushden Town, before the merger with Irthlingborough Diamonds in 1992). As R & D, the following players have represented both sides: Steve Cherry, Simeon Hodson, Stuart Naylor, Kevin Noteman, Mark Peters, Mark Sale, Steve Spooner.
Home: P 1, W 0, D 0, L 1, GF 1, GA 4
Away: P 1, W 0, D 0, L 1, GF 1, GA 3
Season Home Date Away Date
2001-02 1-4 2002-03-30 1-3 2001-10-27 Div 3
Svante Bernhard aka Sweden Stag (pictured, above right)
Latest | December 2004