STAGSNET`S STATISTICAL PREVIEW
The Stags make their second away trip in a space of a few days when they now face another struggling side, Rushden & Diamonds at Nene Park on Saturday. While the Stags lost 1-4 at Wrexham despite leading 1-0 at half-time last Tuesday, Rushden & Diamonds lost even more heavily at home to Carlisle – and it was to the tune of 4-0 to the Cumbrians. So it will be the case of two sides seeking revenge.
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 the 2003-04 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 currently posing similar problems, just about above the relegation places, one place below the Stags.
Earlier this season, R&D scored the only goal of the game just before the interval but have since then failed to win on their travels. And the Diamonds' league games have been more goal-shy than those of the Stags. Only on three occasions have Rushden & Diamonds scored more than once in a league fixture this season, while the Stags have yet to play 0-0 in a league game so far this term.
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 3, W 0, D 1, L 2, GF 1, GA 5
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
2005-06 0-1 2005-08-09 (at Field Mill) League Two
Svante Bernhard aka Sweden Stag (pictured, above right)
Latest | December 2005