Diamonds were held to a 0-0 scoreline for the second home league game running as Egham Town continued their reputation as Diamonds Southern League bogey side.

It was an energetic game with Diamonds shading possession and good opportunities without creating many clear chances. Plenty of nearly moments for Ben Farrell, Nabil Shariff, Tom Lorraine and Luke Fairlamb in the first half but Egham defended strongly and denied the home side space in the box. They pressed themselves after a tricky start with Matthews lobbing over the bar on the break and Jordan Berry coming even closer as his lobbed effort clipped the bar.

The second half was much of the same with Diamonds just shading possession but neither side able to craft serious chances. Tom Lorraine had two chances to turn home near post crosses from Callum Westwood and Nabil Sharif, the second pushed onto the post by home keeper Ohman. It was more nearly moments with Shariff, Brown and Gyasi close to breaking through.

On 83 Egham’s Rhys Paul hauled down Luke Fairlamb on a mazy run and saw his second yellow card and exited the field very slowly. Diamonds pressed hard in their best spell of the game. Claudiu Hoban with a wicked free-kick, Luke Fairlamb with a stinger, Ben Farrell with an optimistic volley, all came close. Tom Lorraine was eased off the ball looking to nod home in added on time and Luke Fairlamb’s rocket of an effort was spilled by the away keeper but cleared away.

—————

Diamonds made a number of changes from the midweek victory in the Hillier Senior Cup against Wellingborough Whitworth. Defender Blaize Punter made a return to the starting line-up after an injury, meaning Sam Brown went back to left back, and Ben Ford dropped to the bench. Richard Bunting, Joel Gyasi and Luke Fairlamb all returned after being rested.

The visitors had the better of the first half as the Diamonds’ chances were few and far between. The first action of note happened after nine minutes, when Egham striker Brendan Matthew tested Heath from 20 yards, with the keeper holding easily.

Louis Stead also decided to test the keeper, this time with a 30 yard free kick on 16 minutes, but again, Heath was able to hold without any trouble. On 20 minutes, captain Richard Bunting found himself in the referee’s book after losing his footing and going through AarronBerry.

The best chance of the game came on 24 minutes, and it came for The Sarnies. Jordan Berry attempted an audacious half-volley lob which looked like it was going in but cannoned off the crossbar.

Rhys Paul became the second player to receive a caution a minute later, after going in hard on Luke Fairlamb.

On the half an hour mark, Diamonds had their best chance of the first period. The cross from the right fell to Fairlamb at the back post, but his tight angled effort was well saved by Ohman in goal.

Fairlamb continued to look dangerous, and on 34 minutes he looked to turn provider as his cross from the right was narrowly missed by a stretching Tom Lorraine. Three minutes later, the winger had another go himself, cutting inside before firing over from 20 yards.

Egham almost took the lead on 38 minutes, with Matthew seemingly through on goal, and if it wasn’t for a last ditch sliding tackle from Blaize Punter, Diamonds would have been behind at the break. Another cross from the right – this time by Callum Westwood – was narrowly missed by Nabil Shariff in first half stoppage time.

Half-time: AFC Rushden & Diamonds 0-0 Egham Town.

Four minutes into the second half, Diamonds were almost ahead. Joel Gyasi sent Westwood down the right on the overlap, before the full back crossed into Shariff. The striker’s first effort was saved point blank before he tried again but this time was blocked byLorraine.

On 53 minutes, Egham had a similar effort to Fairlamb’s in the first half. AarronBerrypassed out to Louis Stead on the left, who cut inside and fired over from distance. Two minutes later, more good work from Gyasi sent Shariff into the box to cross forLorraineat the near post.

Just after the hour mark, Fairlamb whipped a long free kick from the right into the box. The ball initially bounced before Sam Brown attempted to header down but the Egham defence managed to clear.

Diamonds had a succession of corners on 78 minutes. The first was crossed in by Fairlamb from the right, which met the head of Brown but his header went over and the referee awarded another corner, this time from the left. This time, Fairlamb aimed for the back post where it was Brown again who this time headed across goal, but the Egham defence cleared only as far as Ben Farrell whose ambitious shot flew high over from 25 yards.

With seven minutes remaining, Egham were down to ten men. Paul went flying in on Fairlamb in a similar challenge that got him booked in the first half, and the referee gave him his marching orders. From this moment, it was constant Diamonds pressure to push for a winning goal.

Into stoppage time, Diamonds were flinging the ball into the box at every opportunity. Shariff forced a good save from Ohman two minutes into added time. Two minutes later, substitute Claudiu Hoban crossed into Tom Lorraine who was right in front of goal but managed to head the ball up. The striker received a blooded nose in the process, suggesting that his marker had done enough to stop him from scoring.

Six minutes into injury time, Fairlamb fired in a powerful effort from 25 yards which was spilled by the keeper, and just as everyone thought Shariff was going to pounce on the rebound, the linesman flagged the striker offside before the final whistle moments later.

Full-time: AFC Rushden & Diamonds 0-0 Egham Town

Attendance: 441

Man of the Match: Liam Dolman

Match Report by Adam Benney

AFC   Rushden & Diamonds

Egham Town

13.   Ben Heath

2.   Callum Westwood

3.   Sam Brown

4.   Blaize Punter

5.   Liam Dolman

6.   Ben Farrell

7.   Joel Gyasi

8.   Richard Bunting (c)

9.   Tom Lorraine

10.   Nabil Shariff

11.   Luke Fairlamb

 

Subs

12.   Joe Curtis

14.   Chief Boateng

15.   Claudiu Hoban (on for Gyasi, 68)

16.   Fernando Bell-Toxtle (on for Bunting, 62)

19.   Ben Ford

1.   Patrick Ohman

2.   Alex Nolan

3.   Lewis Cole

4.   Reece Yorke (c)

5.   Mitchell Wiseman

6.   Rhys Paul

7.   Jordon Fredericks

8.   Louis Stead

9.   Brendan Matthew

10.   Aarron Berry

11.   Jordan Berry

 

Subs  

12.   Devante McKain (on for Yorke, 73)

14.   Liam Tack (on for J. Berry, 80)

15.   Danny Julienne

16.   Matt Woods (on for A. Berry, 66)

17.   Callum Webb

 

Goals:

Goals:

Yellow   cards: Bunting (20)

Yellow   cards: Rhys Paul (25, 83)

Red   cards:

Red   cards: Rhys Paul (83)

Referee:   Mr Mark Howes

Assistants:  Mr Simon Lane

                     Mr Luis Martin

 

 

 

Diamonds

EghamTown

Shots on   target

5

3

Shots off target

4

3

Corners

5

2

Offsides

2

2

Fouls

10

13

Yellow   cards

1

2

Red   cards

0

1

 

 Updated player profiles with appearance and goalscoring details are now available.

Video highlights and post-match interviews are available here.

Match Gallery courtesy of Matt Hawkins. Copyright HawkinsImages ©2017

 
 
 

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