Leiston boss Boardley has welcome ‘selection headaches’ ahead of Diamonds’ visit

Patrick Brothers, right, who faces a late fitness test on a sore hamstring ahead of Leiston's home m

Patrick Brothers, right, who faces a late fitness test on a sore hamstring ahead of Leiston's home match against AFC Rushden & Diamonds. Picture: JAMES BASS - Credit: James Bass

Leiston boss, Stuart Boardley, has some very welcome “selection headaches” to solve as high-flying AFC Rushden & Diamonds visit Victory Road for a top-five clash in the Southern League Premier Central tomorrow afternoon.

The Blues will go above their high-profile visitors, if they can return to winning ways after a lean spell of three matches without a win – defeats to Rushall Olympic (league) and Beaconsfield Town (FA Trophy) sandwiching a 2-2 draw at Hitchin Town (league).

Skipper and inspirational centre-half, Tom Bullard, was unavailable for the Trophy reverse at Beaconsfield, but he will return to action tomorrow.

Likewise, midfielder Matt Rutterford is back in the squad after suspension, as is the experienced Robert Eagle, while Patrick Brothers also has a chance of returning after a hamstring injury (slight tear). Dominic Doherty remains sidelined with a knee injury.

Furthermore, recent signing George Keys, a defender recruited from Brightlingsea Regent who was cup-tied last weekend, will bolster the squad, and Boardley was also hopeful of signing another new player in time to feature against their Northamptonshire visitors.

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“It’s a very big game, and the sort of fixture that you look out for at the start of the season,” explained Boardley.

“Their club has a lot of history, and the fact that we are both in the top five makes it a doubly important game.

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“We are expecting a big crowd, and we’re all looking forward to it.

“We have several players coming back into the squad, so for the first time since I’ve been here, I have a few selection headaches, which is a nice problem to have.

“We want to get back on the winning trail, and Rushden would be a good scalp for us,” added Boardley.

The current AFC Rushden & Diamonds club was formed in 2011, following the liquidation of the former Rushden & Diamonds, who played in the Football League between 2001 and ‘06 and were a National League club before they folded.

Leiston (24 points) are just two points behind third-placed AFC Rushden & Diamonds (26) in fifth slot, with two games in hand, although the top two of Kettering Town (38pts) and Stourbridge (35) are well clear of the chasing pack.

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