AFC Rushden & Diamonds 0 Barwell FC 1

Diamonds fell to a gut-wrenching 1-0 defeat to Barwell on Tuesday night thanks to an added time smash and grab by the hard-pressed visitors.

Diamonds dominated possession without creating too many chances in a first half impacted at times by gusting wind and heavy rain. Ravi Shamsi fired a free kick just over and Ryan Hughes came close to Alex Collard’s header back across goal from close in.

Diamonds continued to dominate in the second half creating a series of good positions that they couldn’t quite turn into the killer chance. Tom Lorraine was so nearly onto an excellent through ball and Connor Furlong fired over when well set up. Will Jones and Nathan Tshikuna came on and the chances started to flow. Tshikuna saw the keeper save really well at full stretch and Will Jones saw a low effort tipped just wide. Pressure mounted and the crowd really got into the game during a series of corners and free kicks that couldn’t quite be forced home. It looked like only one team was going to win it but Barwell inflicted the classic smash and grab as they broke in injury time and Harry Bower scored with their only shot on goal lobbing Dean Snedker superbly.

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Manager Andy Peaks made two forced changes to his side with the departure of Jay Williams and injury to Liam Dolman. Fernando Bell-Toxtle came into midfield and Sam Warburton returned to full-back with Ryan Hughes slotting in alongside Alex Collard in the back four. Matt Slinn and Ben Garwood returned to the bench.

Rain and wind welcomed the players as the game got underway but it didn’t affect Ravi Shamsi. He curled an early free-kick just over the right hand side of the goal on 4 minutes, hooked up well with Ben Diamond 2 minutes later to nearly create a chance, and lofted a superb ball over the Barwell defence on 10 minutes that just evaded Tom Lorraine.

Ryan Hughes then came close to forcing a close in ball home but picked up a harsh yellow card for his efforts. After a quiet spell in the game he came close again to forcing home from close range on 25 minutes as Alex Collard headed a corner back across goal.

Diamonds dominated possession without creating lots of chances and it finished 0 0 at half-time.

Half-time: Diamonds 0 Barwell 0

Diamonds were straight onto the front foot in the second half and created a number of good situations that they couldn’t quite turn into chances. Ravi Shamsi combined with Connor Furlong a number of times and Tom Lorraine nearly benefited from a great through ball but the away keeper was alert. Lorraine was put in down the right and his low ball was met by Connor Furlong who couldn’t quite keep his effort down under pressure.

Will Jones and Nathan Tshikuna were introduced and chances started to come as the pressure mounted on the away defence. Keeper Max Bramley made a superb save from a Nathan Tshikuna blasted effort and Will Jones drilled across goal and seemingly into the bottom corner before Bramley managed to touch it wide.

A series of corners and free-kicks piled the pressure on the desperate Barwell defence but a clear effort at goal was stoutly resisted. Ravi Shamsi shot narrowly wide as it seemed a goal was only a matter of time but then the classic sucker punch ruined Diamonds night.

A rare break forward for Barwell saw a loose ball bounce between the Diamonds defence and Harry Bower shot through the gap and lobbed Dean Snedker superbly for the winning goal.

Full-Time: Diamonds 0 Barwell 1

This was a gut wrenching defeat for Diamonds who had dominated possession, created a number of chances and restricted Barwell to barely a shot on goal. Even more “gutting” after the recent run of results but football can be cruel.

Performance was pretty good overall and deserving of a win so Andy Peaks will be looking to motivate his side to get that elusive home win on Saturday against Biggleswade. It is surely due and fans will play a big part in cheering on the side as they did on Tuesdsy in that second half despite the rain.

Final Score: Diamonds 0 Barwell 1

Man of the Match: Fernando Bell-Toxtle

Attendance: 240

Match Report: Paul Judd

AFC Rushden & Diamonds

13. Dean Snedker

2. Patrick Casey

3. Sam Warburton

4. Jesse Akubuine

5. Ryan Hughes (Yellow Card)

6. Alex Collard

7. Ben Diamond

8. Fernando Bell-Toxtle

9. Tom Lorraine

10. Ravi Shamsi

11. Connor Furlong

Subs

12. Matt Slinn

14. Ben Garwood

15. Claudia Dias

16. Will Jones (for Lorraine 62)

17. Nathan Tshikuna (for Furlong 68)

Barwell

1. Max Bramley

2. Kyron Stabana

3. Edward Nisevic (Yellow Card)

4. Dominic Brown-Hill

5. Tyreace Brown

6. William Edjenguele

7. Harry Bower

8. Ross Oulton

9. Jahvan Davidson-Miller

10. Brady Hickey

11. Lucas Powell

Subs

12. William Warren (for Lucas Powell 72)

13. Liam Castle

14. Leandro Browne (for Oulton 57)

15. Elliot Percival (for Nisevic 66)

16. Ben Stephens

Goals:

88 minutes – Diamonds 0 Barwell 1 – Harry Bower

AFC Rushden & Diamonds

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