AFC Rushden & Diamonds 1 Hednesford Town 1

Diamonds kept their unbeaten run going in dramatic style on Tuesday night with sub Ryan Dove’s 87th minute equaliser coming after Diamonds had played all but 3 minutes of the game against fellow promotion hopefuls Hednesford Town with 10 men.

Ben Acquaye was punished for an off the ball incident that no one but the referee saw with any clarity after just 3 minutes. Diamonds defended well and a had couple of decent chances on the break from Nabil Shariff and Ben Farrell and will be disappointed to be have been beaten by a set piece right on half time Glover the goal scorer beating Ben Heath at the second attempt.

The second half didn’t look like a game between unbalanced sides as Diamonds stayed well in the game and had the better of the early chances. Nabil Shariff produced a sharp save from the impressive away keeper Shaun Rowley and the same player was hauled down for a free-kick which Liam Dolman just curled wide. Man of the Match Patrick Casey then made a vital goal line clearance to deny Hednesford mid half before Jack Ashton crashed a header from a Ben Farrell corner off the bar and Nathan Hicks tested Shaun Rowley again.

Late substitutions by Andy Peaks then really energised the 10 men into a grandstand finish with Tom Lorraine, Jordan Macleod and Ryan Dove showing real attacking intent as Hednesford were gradually pushed back. Everyone in the ground thought Sam Brown had the equaliser on 82 as his cracking strike from the edge of the box was wonderfully tipped round the post by Shaun Rowley again.

The goal really did look like it was coming with the fans roaring the team on and it was two of the lively subs combining to send them into raptures with just 3 minutes to go. Tom Lorraine made a typical surging run right to the by-line and got in a low cross that Ryan Dove bundled home. There was still time for Diamonds to so nearly win it. A typical Jack Ashton far post run at a deep free-kick saw him fire on goal from an angle only for Rowley to save again.

Diamonds were excellent with 10 men against a really good side and stayed in the game long enough to set-up that grandstand finish with fresh attacking substitutions. Next up a really tough away trip to Nuneaton Borough on Saturday with both sides right in the promotion mix.

Man of the Match: Patrick Casey

Attendance: 327

Match Summary: Paul Judd

Full report and line-ups to follow….



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