Preview: Rushden and Diamonds v Harriers
April 25, 2011

Preview: Rushden and Diamonds v Harriers

Harriers head to Northamptonsire this afternoon looking to follow up Friday's epic win with another to keep the season alive right to the end.

If Harriers can win they will take the play-off chase down to the last game of the season; if Barrow can do them a favour and pick up some sort of a result at Fleetwood then Harriers could find themselves back in the top five by the end of the afternoon.

Steve Burr will probably stick with the same team that won on Friday; the players got through that unscathed and Matt Lowe is close to fitness so only Tom Sharpe is definitely out.

Rushden aren't having the season that they would have hoped for; stuck in mid-table they have won just once in the last 12 games and have the threat of a five-point deduction hanging over them.  Justin Edinburgh has a number of selection problems to contend with; in Friday's 4-0 defeat at champions Crawley Diamonds had Gary Mills and Max Porter sent off, both will miss the game through suspension.  Former Harrier Ryan Charles could take part but he has been carrying an injury while Sam Smith is out for the rest of the season.

Earlier in the season a Chris McPhee penalty gave Harriers a 1-0 victory.  Harriers are still the team that Rushden & Diamonds have played most and over the previous 27 meetings hold the edge with 11 wins to eight.  At Nene Park, however, Rushden are on top with five wins to four, including a 2-1 victory in the same fixture last season.

I expect Harriers to line-up as follows (4-4-2): Lewis; Vaughan, Williams, Briscoe, Albrighton; Blair, Byrne, Briggs, Gittings; Morris, McPhee.
Subs (from): Lowe, Shaw, Hankin, Wright, Matt, Canham, Thompson-Brown, Stevens, Taylor.
Missing (injured): Sharpe.
Missing (on-loan): Griffiths.

The referee this afternoon is Warren Atkin from West Sussex.  This will be his first time in charge of a Harriers game.

This afternoon's weather is forecast to be bright and sunny with a temperature of 18°C.