STAGSNET`S STATISTICAL PREVIEW
The Stags hope to get back to winning ways when they face Rushden & Diamonds away on Saturday – and if they win, the Stags have then recorded three straight away wins since the end of the year 2003.
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 four occasions have the Diamonds scored more than once in a league game this season – and nine without even finding the net. And since the 0-0 game on December 11, 2004, in which the Diamonds were very lucky to gain a point, they have fallen further in the table, just above the relegation spots. The goalie who definitely was responsible for the point, Turley, has since then been suspended due to failing a drugs test – and a managerial change has also taken place at Nene Park. Yet the Diamonds beat Bury 3-0 at home in front of a paltry 1880 crowd a few days ago, while the Stags lost 1-4 at home to Wycombe after a rookie ref gifted the Chairboys a penalty a few minutes after Barker had put the Stags in front and McLachlan had had a goal disallowed just one minute after Barker's opener. The ref at Nene Park will be yet another rookie in Stags games, Paul Melin from Surrey (details courtesy of the FL website).
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 two Stags players then now at the club. The other is Kevin Pilkington (who didn't feature on March 30, 2002 due to suspension) since crowd favourite Wayne Corden left for Scunthorpe the other week much to disgust to the Stags faithful after allegedly falling out with Carlton Palmer. Also, a typical KH affair.
Ex-Stag Mark Peters, who this season have played for Aldershot on loan 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 before this season.
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 2, W 0, D 1, 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
2004-05 0-0 2004-12-11 (at Field Mill) League Two
Svante Bernhard aka Sweden Stag (pictured, above right)
Latest | February 2005