Diamonds were held to their third straight goalless draw as they battled to a stalemate with St Ives on Saturday afternoon.

The first half was a largely low-key affair, with plenty of enterprise and graft from both sides but not much in the way of goalmouth action. Diamonds won a series of long-throw opportunities in the early exchanges but, apart from a couple that were flicked on and caused danger, these were well defended by the hosts. Tom Lorraine had a chance after reaching a Declan Rogers corner, but his sidefooted effort went over the bar. Rushden had more of the possession and the territory, but it was ultimately Ives who had the better opportunities. Striker Morgan Penfold got in behind in the 14th minute, but his left-footed shot went all the way across goal. Moments later he had an even better opportunity when a cutback from the left found him at close-range, and his mishit shot was hacked off the line. Ex-Diamonds man Ty Ward had a good opening later in the half when excellent work down the left by Penfold saw him pull a pass back, and Ward stabbed an effort goalwards only for it go wide of the far post. However, the half-time score of 0-0 reflected the closeness of the game and the lack of chances.

The second half began quickly, and both sides came close to breaking the deadlock. Firstly Andrew Osei-Bonsu cut inside from the right for the hosts and saw a shot go just over the bar onto the roof of the net, and then Diamonds came within inches of going ahead. A corner from the left found the towering leap of Lorraine, and his header was parried. It dropped right on the line, and it looked for all the world that Jack Bowen would force the rebound home only for it somehow to be hacked away. Heath was then forced into an excellent save when Ives full-back Taona Sundire cut inside before seeing a low bobbling effort turned behind. Ben Acquaye, John Dean and Sam Johnson were all introduced from the bench in the hope of finding an all-important goal, but a number of crosses and long-throws into the box were dealt with by the strong home defence. In fact it was the home side who came closest to winning as the game became more stretched and as Rushden began to commit more men forward. Substitute Ben Seymour-Shove was twice found in very promising positions, only for his first effort to go into the side-netting and then an attempted cutback be cleared away. In the end neither side were able to find a winning goal, and Diamonds were forced to settle for their fourth consecutive draw that leaves them six points off the play-off places.

Full Match Report to follow

Diamonds Man of the Match: Zack Reynolds

Attendance: 372

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

Match Gallery courtesy of Matt Hawkins. Copyright HawkinsImages ©2019


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