Diamonds were beaten 3-2 by Buxton FC of the Northern Premier League in their NPL Integro League cup quarter final on Tuesday night.
Manager Andy Peaks kept 4 of the starting line-up from Saturdays 4-1 win at Northwich with Ben Ford, Brad Harris, Ben Farrell, and Ollie Brown-Hill starting, joined by all 5 substitutes from that game Matt Finlay, Joe Curtis, Fazel Koriya, Taylor Orosz and Tom Lorraine. Callum Westwood started his first game back from injury and Lewis Leslie came in to play centre-half.
In a bright opening Ollie Brown-Hill ran well down the left and chipped to the far post just evading Taylor Orosz, and Orosz himself so nearly latched onto a Tom Lorraine flick-on. Buxton broke promisingly to force Matt Finlay into an early save and Jamie Jackson had a good far post chance that was blocked out close in for a corner.
Diamonds continued to break promisingly themselves and on 13 minutes Ollie Brown-Hill mesmerised the Buxton back four getting free on the edge of the area only to see his well struck effort across goal touched wide. The resultant corner was hit high to the far post where Brad Harris headed back across goal onto the hand of a Buxton defender for a pretty clear handball. Tom Lorraine took ownership of the ball in the absence of Nabil Shariff and Liam Dolman and struck confidently home for his 51st goal taking him ahead of Alfie Taylor as Diamonds all-time top scorer.
After Taylor Orosz had a good run and shot and the promising Callum Westoood had a great mazy cross field run only halted by a poor challenge Buxton started to gain spaces in the makeshift Diamonds back four and pressed for an equaliser. Jamie Jackson should really have scored on 25 as he ran deep into the box where Matt Finlay manged to get a touch on his shot that somehow came clear. Just 3 minutes later the Diamonds stopper dived full length to tip a rasping effort wide.
The goal had been coming but it was a disappointing way for Diamonds to concede on 31. A deep free kick found Danny Burns almost unmarked around 8 yards out where he powered his header home.
Diamonds responded well though and created three decent chances in an end to end period of the game. First Westwood fired an exocet cross right across goal where Taylor Orosz couldn’t quite control his free header, Ollie Brown-Hill set-up Taylor Orosz for an effort well saved, and Orosz hit a half-volley from 18 yards just over after a neat knock-back.
Half time: AFC Rushden & Diamonds 1 Buxton FC 1
The second half was less energetic as both side got to grips with their own and the oppositions formations. Play became a tad scrappy with a number of injury breaks around some solid defending from both sides.
Buxton had a penalty appeal for a possible trip in the box turned down, Ben Farrell hit a flying volley well over when coming onto a decent position for Diamonds and Ben Ford had another volley just wide before the decisive moment of the game.
Ross Oulton had come on to warm appreciation around the ground and was desperate to get involved in the action. Unfortunately for him his tracking back challenge in the box after Jackson looked to get clear conceded a penalty on 74 minutes. Bradley Grayson coolly slotted home for 2-1.
Just a minute later it was 3-1 as Brad Harris headed clearance struck a Buxton player. Was it handball? Not given and Bradley Grayson gleefully smashed it into the roof of the net.
Diamonds did pull a goal back on 87 with a third penalty awarded on the night, a tad harshly for a challenge on Ben Farrell. Nabil Shariff now on as sub scored for Diamonds but they struggled to create the late momentum and killer chance against a Buxton side who saw the game out well.
Final Score: AFC Rushden & Diamonds 2 Buxton FC 3
Next up for Diamonds a big play-off battle against Leek Town at the Dog and Duck on Saturday.
Man of the Match: Tom Lorraine
Match Report by Paul Judd
AFC Rushden & Diamonds
17. Matt Finlay
2. Callum Westwood
3. Ben Ford
4. Lewis Leslie
5. Brad Harris
6. Ben Farrell
7. Joe Curtis
8. Fazel Koriya
9. Tom Lorraine
10. Taylor Orosz
11. Ollie Brown-Hill
12. Matt Kumar
13. Ben Heath
14. Ross Oulton (for Koriya 71)
15. Kenny Shipley
16. Nabil Shariff (for Westwoodd 79)
1. Arron Jameson
2. Matty Williams
3. Jamie Green
4. Joel Bembo-Leta
5. Danny Burns
6. Joe McGee
7. Bradley Grayson
8. Brad Abbott
9. Jamie Jackson
10. Niall Doran
11. Nicky Walker
12. Greg Young (for Burns)
14. Liam Hardy
15. Luke Hinsley (for Young)
16. George Milner (for Doran)
17. William Biggs
Goals: Lorraine (13)
Goals: Burns (31), Grayson (76, 78)
Yellow Card: Harris, Curtis
Referee: Robbie Dadley
Assistants: Ian Croston, Scott Tallis
Updated player profiles with appearance and goalscoring details are now available.
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