Diamonds are out but Moneyfields remain in a rush

Conor Bailey. Picture: Neil Marshall

MONEYFIELDS are facing an injury crisis as they head into one of their longest and toughest Southern League east division trips of the season to AFC Rushden & Diamonds tomorrow (3pm).

Title-chasers Moneys could be without up to eight first-choice players.

Lewis Fennemore, Jake Raine, Dan Wooden, Marley Ridge, Nathan Paxton and Gavin Spurway are all injury doubts.

Young striker Ryan Pennery is on holiday and midfield dynamo Conor Bailey is suspended.

Manager Dave Carter, however, remains in a positive mood ahead of the game.

He knows he will need some players to step up when they are called into the first team and will also be hoping for some fitness boosts.

The main upside for unbeaten Moneyfields is that their defenders are fit as they look to continue the fast pace of their charge at the top of the table.

‘We are down to the barebones and will have to take a few youngsters with us,’ said Carter.

‘Hopefully we might be able to get one or two players back.

‘The good thing is that our goalkeeper and back four remains intact.

‘If we can go there and keep a clean sheet then we might be able to nick something.

‘Confidence remains high in our camp and despite the problems will still go into the game feeling upbeat.

‘It is a 130 miles and one of our longest journeys.

‘We know it won’t be easy because Rushden are still one of the favourites to win our league.’

Carter has been impressed by the form shown by left-sided defender Jamie Ford, who he brought in from Winchester City at the start of the season.

Ford has provided a solid presence in the back four.

‘Jamie has been great for us,’ said the Moneys boss.

‘He is a big strong lad who is good in the air and strong on the ball.’

Bailey will be a big miss for Moneyfields because he has also impressed this season.

He has proved very effective with his direct approach and also scored some fantastic goals using both feet.

‘Conor is Moneyfields through and through,’ added Carter.

‘He even has Moneyfields tattooed on his belly button.’

Rushden & Diamonds are in fifth place and are eight points behind the league-leaders Moneys.

The Copnor side boast the only unbeaten record in the three divisions of the Southern League.

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