Diamonds were held at home for the third time in a row in this 1-1 draw with Albie Hopkins grabbing the important 40th minute equaliser after Barwell had taken an 18th minute lead.
The excellent Non-League Day was greeted with Diamonds traditional “pay what you want” fixture with the additional incentive of free chips boosting a seasons best crowd of 694. Diamonds flew out of the traps on a sunny but incredibly windy day with 3 trademark Sam Brown throws and two inswinging corners floating on the wind but being repelled by a strong Barwell defence. On loan Oxford United man Albie Hopkins created a half chance for Jack Bowen which was blocked close in and Liam Dolman with a trademark 40 yard diagonal pass found Bowen, who fed Ben Farrell who played in Declan Rogers only for the keeper to block at his feet,
But it was Barwell who took the lead on 18 minutes a bit against the run of play as Jahvan Davidson-Miller picked the ball up 40 yards out, cut inside and unleashed a superb effort into the bottom corner. Diamonds continued to try and play but were too often let down by the final ball and getting buffeted in the wind. Declan Rogers fired a free kick just over, and Rogers, Farrell and Bowen combined beautifully but the final dangerous looking cross was just over hit.
The deserved equaliser came on 40 minutes just as Barwell had a great chance to make it 2-0 through Davidson-Miller. Diamonds broke away and Sam Brown played in the impressive Albie Hopkins who beat the offside trip to run in and poke the ball under the onrushing away keeper. It came back off the post but Hopkins had followed in well and gleefully tapped home to the delight of the Peter de Banke.
The second half was not the most memorable as both sides battled each other and the conditions. Diamonds had the bulk of the play but struggled to create much in the way of chances. Zack Reynolds was superb down the right getting in some good crossing positions and having one effort blocked close in. Liam Canavan flicked a close in header just wide for the away side, with Tom Lorraine and Ben Farrell firing over when well placed for Diamonds.
A 1-1 draw was probably a fair result with both sides remaining in a solid mid table position. Next up for Diamonds a trip to Kings Lynn next Saturday, although the U18s have an exciting FA Youth Cup tie against Leyton Orient at Hayden Road on Wednesday night.
Man of the Match: Zack Reynolds
Match Report by Paul Judd
|AFC Rushden & Diamonds||Barwell FC|
|13. Ben Heath
2. Zack Reynolds
3. Sam Brown
4. Jack Westbrook
5. Liam Dolman (C)
6. Declan Rogers
7. Albie Hopkins
8. Ben Farrell
9. Jack Bowen
10. Ben Diamond
11. Nathan Hicks
12. John Dean (for Rogers 69)
14. Joe Curtis
15. Tom Lorraine (for Bowen 69)
16. Blaize Punter
17. Nathan Pickworth
|13. Liam Castle
2. Elliot Percival
3. Eliot Putman
4. Jena-Reuban Desrosiers
5. Brad-Lee Gascoigne
6. Liam Canavan
7. Lee Hildreth (C)
8. Jai Rowe
9. Jahvan Davidson-Miller
10. Owen Story
11. Alex Tomkinson
12. Edward Nisevic
14. Kian Williams (for Percival 35)
15. Elliott Taylor
16. Brady Hickey
17. Qunetin Albertus
|Goals: Hopkins (40)||Goals: Davidson-Miller (18)|
|Yellow Card: Hicks||Yellow Cards: Castle, Hildreth, Tomkinson|
|Red Cards:||Red Cards:|
|Referee: Simon Barrow
Assistants: Adam Clenaghan, Callum Boocock
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