Rushden and K*ttering have met ten times in the league before. The Poppies huffed and puffed their way to earning 6 points from a possible 30, with Rushden winning 18-5 on aggregate. Rushden have never lost a league match at Rockingham Road.
Poppies fans will argue that those results were all a very long time ago (although surely given Kettering’s long, graceful history, 7 years is but a drop in the ocean? Grrrrr, I’m envious just thinking about those 100 years of Southern League football we’ve missed out on!).
Inflated with confidence after tearing apart teams like Vauxhall Motors last year, Kettering believe that the time has come “to put the Diamonds in their place”. Northamptonshire’s-third-best-team™ have torn the division apart in their first three games. After drawing 1-1 with a Fleetwood-less FGR, they stumbled their way to draws with Alty and Gray’s… Kettering now sit a heady 16th in the table, winless, but – my God! – haven’t they a great history behind them!
Below, some of YouTube’s finest…
Andy Burgess has done his best to stir up the situation even more by (succeeding in) winding up KTFC fans and players alike. In his article for the Mirrorhe predicted relegation for the Poppies. The KTFC fans bit the bait (cue a 6-page thread on the Poppies fans’ messageboard). Burge’s most recent article claimed that he was anticipating a hostile reception, casually dropping in the 10-man 2-0 win of a few years ago. Good stuff, Andy. Burge will be the one player who can understand the KTFC-RDFC derby, and will inform his fellow players all about it.
Crowd trouble, whilst not really expected, is keeping a number of families away from the tie, although a crowd in excess of 3000 will be present. A large police presence will seperate fans, and attempt to keep the peace. Imram says nothing will happen, so we can all rest easy now. The fireworks and other ammunition thrown over the wall in the direction of the RDFC fans the last time the two clubs met – that was different. Right?
One thing is for certain. A win is all that matters on Saturday (although some KTFC fans will say that a draw on the day is a morale win for the Poppies and a morale defeat for the Diamonds – these are generally the same breed of fans who go on about this “history” thing) and, come 5pm Saturday 23rd of August, bragging rights will be gained for the majority of the season. With Kettering fans wetting themselves at the prospect of defeating the second-best-team-in-the-county, what crueler a blow could there be than a demoralising defeat, putting Rushden at the top and Kettering by the bottom. History is relative or, in this case, trivial. What happens on the pitch and in the stands/slab of concrete (delete where applicable) is all that matters.
Roll on Saturday!