It was last minute heartache for Diamonds as Stourbridge completed a come from behind win with an 89th minute winner at the War Memorial Ground on Saturday.

A much changed Diamonds team saw Nathan Hicks stand in at fullback for Sam Brown, Dan Clifton replace him in midfield and John Dean and the returning Joel Gyasi play up front in place of injured Tom Lorraine and Ben Diamond. Liam Dolman remains on the injury list.

Despite the disruption Diamonds started strongly and forced a dramatic goal line clearance by the home keeper James Wren before taking the lead on 11 minutes. John Dean broke clear of the Stourbridge defence after a poor backpass, rounded Wren and slotted home. Stourbridge responded well and on 23 minutes a curling effort from Robbie Thomson-Brown was brilliantly tipped wide by Diamonds Man of the Match Ben Heath. From the resulting corner Jack Duggan headed wide when unmarked. Stourbridge should have had an equaliser twice on 25 minutes as first a penalty was awarded for a challenge on Greg Mills but was brilliantly saved by Ben Heath, and then from the resulting scramble the ball found the net but the referee disallowed the effort for an apparent infringement. The equaliser finally did come on 31 minutes as Greg Mills fired in a cross-shot that slipped under the slightly unsighted Ben Heath. Diamonds had continued to look dangerous going forward in what was a fairly even first half with Joel Gyasi nearly setting up Jack Bowen after a great run and John Dean running hard at the Stourbridge defence.

Ben Heath continued to star for Diamonds in the second-half as a strong Stourbridge side pushed for a winner. He clawed a Luke Benbow header away from his right on 60 minutes and a clear Jack Duggan header from a corner was pushed round the post 5 minutes later. Diamonds were always dangerous on the break though with Joel Gyasi and Jack Bowen combining for a close range effort blocked by the home keeper, and Gyasi putting John Dean away only for the keeper to just gather.

Diamonds were struggling to hold the Glassboys in the final stages though with Jack Ashton penalised for diving in on Robbie Thompson-Brown but real chances were at premium from open play. The goal if it came was always going to come from a set-piece and so it proved on 89 minutes. A free-kick deep into the box was headed towards goal by Leon Broadhurst and although cleared from the line by the Diamonds defence it was ruled to be over the line.

A Stourbridge win was probably deserved on the balance of play but the much changed Diamonds side pushed them all the way and didn’t deserve the last minute heartbreak.

Next up a trip to old friends Deeping Rangers in the FA Cup Preliminary Round next Saturday.

 

Man of the Match: Ben Heath

Attendance: 560

Match Report by Paul Judd

 

Stourbridge

AFC Rushden & Diamonds

1.   James Wren

2.   Aaron Hayden

3.   Jordaan Brown

4.   Paul McCone (C)

5.   Jack Duggan

6.   Aaron Forde

7.   Brad Birch

8.   Leon Broadhurst

9.   Luke Benbow

10. Robbie Thompson-Brown

11. Greg Mills

Subs:

12. Kaiman Anderson (for Birch 61)

14. Stuart Pierpont (for Brown 79

15. Jake Evans

16. Tom Edmonds-Hill

17. Niall Maher

 

13. Ben Heath

2.   Callum Westwood

3.   Nathan Hicks

4.   Jack Ashton (C)

5.   Blaize Punter

6.   Jack Westbrook

7.   Joel Gyasi

8.   Ben Farrell

9.   Jack Bowen

10. John Dean

11. Dan Clifton

Subs:

12. Leon Lobjoit (for Dean 57))

14. Ty Ward

16. Ross Oulton

17. Nathan Pickworth

18. Albert Hopkins (for Westwood 74)

Goals: Mills (31), Broadhurst (89)

Goals: Dean (11)

Yellow Card: Hayden,

Yellow Cards: Westwood, Ashton

Red Cards:

 Red Cards:

Referee:  Scott Tallis

Assistants:  Matthew Jackson, Mitchel Cartwright

 

  

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

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