Harrowby United to face resurgent non-league giants Rushden & Diamonds

Harrowby United's Mark Fardell and Jay Harrison.
Harrowby United's Mark Fardell and Jay Harrison.
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TWO newly resurrected sides will meet in Grantham on Saturday as Harrowby United play host to once mighty Rushden & Diamonds.

The Grantham side are expecting around 200 away fans to make the journey to Grantham for a fixture which will mean as much to Harrowby United as the visit of FC United did for Grantham Town.

The influx of so many away fans means United will have to carefully plan for how they will be accommodated at the club’s ever-improving but small ground off Harrowby Lane.

Manager Mark Fardell said: “They had around 800 for their first league game and we’re expecting around 200 away fans for Saturday’s game so we will have to think about getting some more parking sorted.

“They are a top notch club that is going places. They are playing really well and have two or three players who used to be in the football league so it’s going to be tough.”

Both sides are enjoying their first season since being resurrected as new clubs. Harrowby have so far found the going the tougher of the two sides, losing their first two games of the season by a single goal while Rushden & Diamonds have recorded a win and a draw.

Rushden & Diamonds climbed as high as the third tier (now League One) before they were dissolved in 2011 because of financial difficulties. The new club has been founded by supporters.

Fardell said: “Every week’s going to be a big test. All we have doe is what we wanted to do - go out and get local lads that we know.

“We believe there are players about in Grantham that can play in this league and we have showed so far that we are not far off.”

Off the field the club must install seating in the coming months or else risk sanctions by the league.

The team were initially told they must have a minimum of 50 seats before they could be allowed to gain promotion but now they have been told they must have 50 seats before the end of the season.

Fardell said: “We knew we needed seats for the league above but did no envisage being there for four or five seasons. Now we have been told we need 50 seats by March.

“It’s a bit of a whammy but we are aiming to get 100 in at a cost of £7,000 for good quality, plastic seats.

“It should help us get into the FA Vase next year as well.”

l Harrowby United’s game against Rushden & Diamonds will be held at Harrowby Fields on Saturday, kick-off at 3pm.