AFC Rushden & Diamonds 0 – Egham Town 1

AFC Rushden and Diamonds fell to their second defeat in 4 days with a 1-0 loss to Egham Town on Tuesday evening.

Diamonds dominated possession and created a number of half-chances in a goalless first half with Tom Liversedge heading a Tommy Berwick cross just wide on 9, Shawn Richards finishing off a Tommy Berwick chip only to see the offside flag raised on 14, and Tommy Berwick turning and seeing a volley blocked from close range on 17. The clearest chance fell to Claudiu Hoban on 27 who fired wide when clean through after a pacey run. Delroy Gordon headed another good chance wide from 8 yards on 36 and Tom Liversedge saw his sidefooted effort from 15 yards well saved on 40.

The second half started in the same fashion with Tom Liversedge again heading a Tommy Berwick cross towards goal on 50 only to see it come back off the base of the post before the classic sucker punch saw Egham take the lead on 53. A ball forward split the Diamonds defence to danger man Brendon Mathew who ran into the space and coolly slotted home. Egham were visibly lifted by the goal and they dominated the next phase of the game with Mathew coming close twice in quick succession. Diamonds responded with late pressure having the ball cleared off the line twice and having a number of dangerous positions in the box just cleared by the hard working Egham back four. There was no way back though and Diamonds fell to a second successive home defeat and second in consecutive games.


Just two changes for Diamonds from Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at Chalfont St. Peter with Ollie Wilkinson coming back into right-back allowing Delroy Gordon to slot into the centre-back position relinquished by Edi Appleton on his move to Corby Town. Tom Liversedge also came in for Tom Lorraine who dropped to the bench alongside new signing from Corby Town Connor Kennedy.

The game started nearly 10 minutes late as the pitch recovered from a second big downpour in the 2 hours before kick-off. Conditions weren’t easy for the players and the early stages were a struggle for both sides.

Shawn Richards was moving best across the pitch and had two good runs in the early minutes winning a corner, and setting up Richard Bunting for a close range effort that was blocked on 7.

Tommy Berwick was also running at the Egham back four particularly from the left and almost created the opener for Tom Liversedge 2 minutes later. The big striker was got a flicked header to Berwick’s whipped in cross as he turned inside his defender only to see the ball fall just wide.

Liversedge had another effort blocked from the edge of the box after another good Berwick run, before Diamonds had the ball in the net on 14. Berwick again got in behind the Egham back four flicking the ball over the advancing keeper for Shawn Richards to tap home but the offside flag had been raised for Berwick’s initial break.

Diamonds were dominating possession but as on Saturday creating only half-chances and Egham were starting to press on the break. They nearly took the lead after one quick break on 21 Callum Webb striking a fierce effort from 25 yards that took a big deflection to spin just wide with Matt Finlay completely wrong-footed. The resultant corner was only half-cleared falling to Wes Daly just 15 yards out but he failed to make decent contact and the chance was gone.

Claudiu Hoban then had what would be the best chance of the game for Diamonds on 27. After being felled on the run by Neville which earned the Egham Captain a yellow card, he surged through the Egham back-four finding himself free in the box but he miscued his effort at goal with keeper Norris still near his line.

Shawn Richards then scuffed his shot wide from just outside the box and Tommy Berwick fired over from 20 yards as he turned away from his defender well as Diamonds struggled to hit the target in the sticky conditions.

Delroy Gordon came very close on 36 getting a firm head from 8 yards to a left wing cross only to see the ball fall wide when he really would have expected to hit the target.

A really good move by Diamonds on 40 looked to have finally opened up the Egham defence with Berwick, Sam Brown and Richard Bunting all involved getting Tom Liversedge in space in the box, but his side foot effort curled towards the corner from 15 yards lacked the pace to beat Norris who clutched the ball at full stretch.

There was still time for Tommy Berwick to get clear on the right hand side of the box and fire a low hard effort from a tight angle that just went wide.

Half-time:  AFC Rushden & Diamonds 0 – Egham Town 0

Egham started the second with real purpose and were more threatening than they had been in the first. They had a very good penalty appeal on 49 as Brendon Mathew fell under a challenge from Liam Dolman just inside the box.

But Diamonds thought they had the vital first goal on 5 minutes as Tommy Berwick whipped in another dangerous cross for Tom Liversedge to glance towards goal. The keeper was beaten but the ball came back off the base of the left-hand post and fell to defender to clear rather than Hoban who was closing in.

The almost inevitable sucker punch came straight away on 53 as a ball forward somehow spilt the Diamonds back four allowing danger man Brendon Mathew to run through and slide home under Matt Finlay.

Liam Dolman immediately went-off having picked up a knock in the build-up to the goal to be replaced by Lewis Leslie with Brad Harris dropping into the back four.

Egham visibly grew in confidence with the goal and dominated the next phase of the game earning a series of corners and creating chances for the dangerous Mathew on 66 shooting on the turn from 15 yards saved by Finlay, and on 68 getting clean through and firing in from an angle but just wide.

It was surprise when Mathew was substituted on 73 as a number of other changes were made by both sides with Tom Lorraine joining the action for Diamonds. The late rally did come with Diamonds getting the ball into the box and creating dangerous situations but an Egham head or blocking foot denying them on every occasion just as had happened at Chalfont on Saturday.

One ball on 81 in was headed towards goal falling to Lorraine with his back to goal, he flicked it behind him only to see it somehow blocked on the line.

A second chance fell to Claudiu Hoban on 84 after a Sam Brown throw was flicked on, the young winger seeing his first time stab towards goal blocked on the line.

One final melee near the line as time ran out saw the ball blocked near the line and stabbed seemingly over the line but a foul had been given on the Egham keeper.

It wasn’t to be Diamonds night and Egham ran out 1-0 winners to move up to third in the table just 2 points behind the home side.

Full-time: AFC Rushden & Diamonds 0 – Egham Town 1

Another frustrating night for Diamonds as they lost a close game that they had shaded in terms of possession and chances. It was the sort of game they had been winning earlier in the season particularly at home. They played well enough to win the game, creating plenty of good half-chances and good positions but not finding the target often enough and missing the two really good chances that came their way. Diamonds are still a good side and one of the best in the division but Andy Peaks will be looking for luck in front of goal to change in the coming games.

With Chalfont losing at Aylesbury the league has closed up with Diamonds still 3 points behind with two games in hand, but Egham moving up to 3rd just 2 points behind Diamonds but now ahead of St. Ives.

Next up the Boxing Day trip to Bedford Town before the Arlesey come to the Dog & Duck on January 2nd.

Man of the Match: Richard Bunting chosen by Match Sponsor Bill Ryan

Attendance: 443

Match Report by Paul Judd


AFC Rushden & Diamonds

Egham Town

17. Matt Finlay

2.   Ollie Wilkinson

3.   Sam Brown

4.   Delroy Gordon

5.   Liam Dolman

6.   Brad Harris

7.   Shawn Richards

8.   Richard Bunting

9.   Tom Liversedge

10. Tommy Berwick

11. Claudio Hoban


12.  Connor Kennedy

13.  Alex Vitue

14.  Lewis Leslie (for Dolman 53)

15.  Tom Lorraine (for Liversedge 74)

16.  Andy Hall (for Hoban 84)

1.   Jamie Norris

2.   Hassan Sulaiman

3.   Ryan Parsons

4.   Reece Yorke

5.   Luke Neville (C)

6.   Elliott Carey

7.   Callum Webb

8.   Wes Daly

9.   Brendon Matthew

10. Chris Henry

11. Badjram Pashaj


12. Ryah Phillips (for Parsons 76)

14. Tom Collins

15. Ollie Jones

16. Jake Cass

17. Ryan Debattista (for Mathew 73)


Goals: Mathew (53)

Yellow Cards:

Yellow Cards: Neville (23), Daly (82)

Red Cards:

 Red Cards:

Referee:  Abbas Khan

Assistants:  Ryan O’Mahoney, Adam Brierley-Lewis


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

For video highlights and post-match interviews see here.

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