AFC Rushden & Diamonds appeared to hold onto their long unbeaten run with a last minute equaliser from Dan Quigley in the 1-1 draw at Kings Langley on Tuesday night but the game was abandoned at 90+5 minutes after a lengthy break in play.

Diamonds had trailed to a 76th minute header from a deep free-kick but equalised in the 90th minute as Scott Joseph’s cross shot was dropped by the Kings Langley keeper allowing Dan Quigley to sweep the ball home. There were protests from King’s Langley which resulted in a sending off and further protests after a tackle in front of the Kings Langley bench deep into added on time which spilt onto the pitch. The final whistle came after a long delay and it has since been confirmed that the game was abandoned at 90+5 minutes. It is not known at this stage whether the result will stand or the game need to be replayed.

Manager Andy Peaks made one change to his line-up from the FA Cup win at Deeping Rangers with Richard Bunting returning to centre midfield in place of injured Claudio Hoban. Diamonds reverted to a 4 3 3 style formation with Courtney Herbert and Tommy Berwick playing wide of Tom Lorraine up front. Dom Lawless and Elliott Lamb-Johnson came onto the bench to join Scott Joseph, Charlie Butt and Alex Vitue.

In a competitive start to the game both sides were energetic and quick to close down their opponents but unable to maintain possession for long enough to create chances.

Diamonds were strong defensively and in midfield but unable find space in the final third against a challenging Kings Langley back line.

Kings Langley were carrying more danger in the final third and came close to opening the scoring on 7 minutes. The ball was whipped in from the right hand-side of the area for the left-winger to somehow lift the ball over the bar from no more than 5 yards.

Diamonds were trying to pass the ball through the middle of the park but just over hitting the final ball too often with the exception of a superb move on 18 involving Tommy Berwick which put the raiding Sam Brown free in the box but his effort was smothered by the Kings Langley keeper.

They did have the ball in the net from the resultant corner as the Kings Langley keeper was pressured right on the line trying to punch the ball away only to see it drop into the net. But the goal was quickly disallowed by referee Morrison presumably for pushing by Tommy Berwick.

Kings Langley were forcing the Diamonds into some strong defending in the middle period of the half as they pressed for the opener. Richard Bunting tracking back made an excellent late challenge on 23 to deny a good move, and the same player was there to block a first time side foot volley from just outside the box after a left-wing pullback on 28.

There were little in the way good chances as the half drew to a close bar a 40 yard effort from Kings Langley on 40 that went just wide of Matt Finlay’s right-hand post.

Liam Dolman did fire a half-way line free-kick deep into the Kings Langley penalty area right on half-time for Tom Lorraine to head back across goal, only to see the Kings Langley keeper claim the ball almost off Tommy Berwick’s head.

Half-time:  Kings Langley 0 AFC Rushden & Diamonds 0

The second half saw an improvement in Diamonds retention of possession and the creation of better chances as they started to get on top of their hard working opponents.

Courtney Herbert was played in down the right by Brad Harris on 53 only to see his wickedly struck cross shot just touched wide by the Kings Langley keeper.

Sam Brown was prominent down the left and got past his man on 55 and hit a dangerous cross that was just cleared at full stretch by Kings Langley with Tom Lorraine closing in, and Richard Bunting surged onto a bouncing ball to fire a volley over the bar from 25 yards at the end of a good right wing move.

Sam Brown continued to provide ammunition down the left seeing another great cross blocked at the last minute, and finding Tom Lorraine for a header that went just wide.

He almost caused the keeper embarrassment when an extremely high ball forward was allowed to bounce and he came so close to getting a touch past the stranded keeper.

But it was Kings Langley who took the lead on 76 after a period when they hadn’t really threatened. A deep left wing free-kick found centre-half Deaton free 10 yards from goal and he guided his downward header into the bottom corner.

Scott Joseph was introduced almost immediately as Diamonds pressed for an equaliser and he put Tommy Berwick clear on the left hand side of the area only to see an offside flag as he closed on goal.

Despite much energy and effort the goal that would retain Diamonds long unbeaten run didn’t really look like coming, but it all changed in the final the final minute of the game. Richard Bunting got the ball from a disputed throw-in and played in Scott Joseph on the right hand side of the box who fired a firm shot that the keeper could only parry. Dan Quigley collected the ball and swept it home to the delight of the travelling fans behind the goal.

There were lengthy protests from Kings Langley which included a member of their management team who appeared to be showed a red card.

The game re-started and the final minutes of added on time were being played out when Brad Harris was challenged in the right full-back position causing a reaction from the home dugout that spilt onto the pitch and eventually involved most of the players for some time.

Referee Morrison took plenty of time with his assistant’s to assess what had occurred and this resulted in a single red card being shown to Diamonds substitute Elliott Lamb-Johnson.  Soon after the referee blew the whistle for what appeared to be the end of the match but it was later confirmed as abandoning the game.

Final Score: Kings Langley 1 – AFC Rushden & Diamonds 1 – Abandoned after 90+5 minutes

At the time of writing it is not clear if the result will be allowed to stand given so little added on time remained, or whether the match will have to be replayed.

Diamonds struggled to impose themselves on strong opposition particularly in the first half but defended strongly as has been typical this season. Andy Peaks will be pleased with the second half-reaction although chances created were still minimal. The manner of the goal conceded at a time when the home side had not been threatening will be disappointing, but the late equaliser was probably deserved on the pattern of the whole game.

Next up for Diamonds is a first ever foray into the FA Trophy as they entertain old foes from the FA Vase days Basford at the Dog & Duck on Saturday 3rd October.

Reporters Man of the Match: Sam Brown

Attendance: 151

Match Report by Paul Judd


Kings Langley

AFC Rushden & Diamonds

1. Xavi Comas

2. Danny Hutchins

3. Callum Adebiyi

4. Jack Stevens

5. Stuart Deaton

6. Emmanuel Folarin

7. Gary Connolly

8. Steve Ward

9. Mitchell Weiss

10. Tom Carter

11. Connor Toomey


12. David Femiola

13. Anthony Ladyman

14. Alan Musoke

15. Dean Hitchcock

16. David Manu (for Connolly 63)

17. Matt Finlay

2.   Ollie Wilkinson

3.   Sam Brown

4.   Delroy Gordon

5.   Liam Dolman

6.   Brad Harris

7.   Courtney Herbert

8.   Richard Bunting

9.   Tom Lorraine

10. Tommy Berwick

11. Dan Quigley


12.  Elliott Lamb-Johnson

13.  Alex Vitue

14.  Scott Joseph (for Wilkinson 82)

15.  Charlie Butt

16.  Dominic Lawless (for Berwick 88)

Goals: Deaton (76)

Goals: Quigley (90)

Yellow Cards: Carter, Stevens, Hutchins

Yellow Cards: Herbert

Red Cards:

 Red Cards: Elliott Lamb-Johnson (90+5)

Referee: N Morrison

Assistants: J Was, M Smith



Match Gallery courtesy of Malcolm Swinden Photography (click on the link to access the Diamonds Photo Gallery for more images from this game and ecommerce options). Copyright Mal Swinden ©2015


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