After defeating Cambridge, Kidderminster and Northwich in this year’s Setanta Shield, Rushden take on Halifax Town tonight with the aim of progressing to the final against Aldershot Town.
This is the two clubs fourth tie this term.
(Above: a RDFC Fans picture from the two teams league meeting earlier this season, a 2-2 draw)
Rushden have had the better of their three meeting with Halifax this season. Late goals in the league games in September and February ensured that draws were snatched form the jaws of defeat, while even later goals in the clubs’ FA Trophy tie gave Rushden a 2-0 win. After being knocked out of said competition, Halifax will be aiming to return the favour this time round.
Rushden will be hoping to take advantage of the visitors turbulence behind the scenes; having recently entered administration and dealt the usual 10-point deducation, Town find themselves in the midst of an increasingly intruiging relegation battle, and are only outside of the relegation spots thanks to their superior goal difference. They could be forgiven to have more important things to worry about than tonights game; with debts of over £1m, the club is now up for sale.
(Above: Rushden fans celebrate their late, late victory over Halifax in the FA Trophy)
Halifax haven’t scored for three games, and recently gifted Droylsden their first victory since January, just their fourth all season. They’ve enjoyed more success in the SS, earning credible victories against Histon and Burton Albion, as well as knocking out Nuneaton Borough. Their last tie went to a (postponed) replay,
(Above: Phil Gulliver earns Rushden a draw with his late, late equaliser)
The pressure on Rushden players for tonight’s game is immense; after resting key players for the Good Friday tie against Kidderminster, much to some travelling fans’ disgust, the rest of the season rests on today’s game’s outcome. A defeat ultimately ends the excitement for the fans this season. An indifferent league campaign which now has midtable obscurity written all over it will do nothing. A cup final, however trivial, will keep interest high and will offer some consilation to the Rushden faithful.
Photos from today’s game will be uploaded “live”, and will be followed by reports and reaction.