AFC Rushden & Diamonds slipped to a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Deeping Rangers at the Dog & Duck on Tuesday evening, with a late penalty sealing victory for the visitors. The Diamonds had taken an early lead when Arron Parkinson stooped to head home a Gearing corner, but Rangers were level after 16 minutes when a cross from the right was headed home. The visitors looked like they would only be taking a derserved point back to the Fens until Arron Parkinson handled a bouncing ball as the game entered added time, which Spencer Tinkler netted.

Diamonds manager Mark Starmer was without Russ Dunkley after he had picked up a knock at the weekend, so Alfie Taylor returned to the starting line-up. Matt Gearing passed a late fitness test, and Brad Harris was able to take a place on the bench following his recent foot operation.

The Diamonds started the game brightly, and forced a corner when a mishit Joe Henderson show was deflected out by a defender. The dipping corner from the left by Matt Gearing was headed home by a stooping Arron Parkinson with only 3 minutes on the clock.

Deeping took a few minutes to get going, but Beck and Smith were looking dangerous on the flanks and Scott Ginty had a couple of early shots on goal. After 16 minutes the visitors were level, as a cross from Dan Flack on the right was headed home by Matt Heron.

Although there was a good flow to the game, both sides didn’t trouble the opposing keeper too much for the remainder of the half, with James Doughty called into action late in the period when a Koriya flick freed Alfie Taylor and Doughty was able to field the shot from a narrow angle.

Half-Time: AFC Rushden & Diamonds 1 Deeping Rangers 1

The visitors passing and movement continued to impress in the second period, with perhaps the best performance against the Diamonds this season. Alex Beck was especially unlucky to see two low crosses from the right skim across the area without anyone able to apply a finishing touch. Rangers striker Jamie Graham went close on his debut whereas the best Diamonds chance fell to Greg Ling who could not find the target.

Diamonds’ claims for a penalty as Fazel Koriya bounced off a defender were turned down by referee Chalmers who had officiated with authority throughout.

As the game entered added time a ball forwards for the visitors was chased in the area by Arron Parkinson and Alex Beck, and as the ball took a high bounce Arron Parkinson appeared to make a reflex move and handled it away. Spencer Tinkler coolly slotted the spot-kick home.

There was still time for a late Diamonds chance for Alfie Taylor, but his effort went wide.

Full-Time: AFC Rushden & Diamonds 1 Deeping Rangers 2

Attendance: 390

Diamonds Man of the Match: Fazel Koriya

The Diamonds travel to face AFC Kempston Rovers on Saturday.


AFC Rushden & Diamonds

Deeping Rangers

17. Matt Finlay

2. Joe Merrill

3. Sam Brown

4. Joe Henderson

5. Ryan Walker

6. Arron Parkinson (c)

7. Matt Gearing

8. Richard Bunting

9. Fazel Koriya

10. Alfie Taylor

11. Greg Ling


12. Brad Harris

13. Connor Brown (GK)

14. Jake Gillingwater

15. Ben Morgan (for Gearing 63)

16. Noah Bryant

1. James Doughty

2. Dan Flack

3. Joe Braithwaite

4. Spencer Tinkler

5. Simon Ashton

6. David Burton-Jones (c)

7. Alex Beck

8. Scott Ginty

9. Jamie Graham

10. Matt Heron

11. Callum Smith


12. Ciaran Holt (for Smith 67)

14. Matt Simpson

15. Ryan Oliver

Goals: Parkinson (3)

Goals: Heron (16), Tinkler (pen, 90+1)

Yellow Cards: None

Yellow Cards: None

Referee: Mr Wayne Chalmers

Assistants: Mr Carl Henry & Mr Keith Lawrence



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