STAGSNET`S STATISTICAL PREVIEW
The Stags hope to start their 2005-06 home campaign at Field Mill with three points against Rushden & Diamonds on Tuesday night
Like the Stags three 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 continued last season in the lower sphere, and a pointer was the opening-day goalless home draw against Kidderminster, who later were to be relegated despite the appointment of former Stags' manager Stuart Watkiss midway through last season.
And the Diamonds just about escaped further relegation last term and are tipped to face similar serious problems this season.
Both sides started this season with draws. While Rushden & Diamonds managed a 1-1 home draw against Darlington, the Stags shared four goals with Stockport despite being 2-0 up at half-time. But there were at times promising signs for the Stags at Edgeley Park in a game of two halves.
Both fixtures last season were goal-less. In the 0-0 game at Field Mill on December 11, 2004, the Diamonds were very lucky to gain a point, mainly due to a man-of-the-match-performance by the R&D goalie Turley, who later was suspended due to failing a drugs test.
Before last season, the teams had only faced each other 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.
Ex-Stag Mark Peters, who last season 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 last season.
Played for both sides: Neil Burns, Colin Foster (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 2, 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 0-0 2005-02-26 League Two
Svante Bernhard aka Sweden Stag (pictured, above right)
Latest | August 2005