A warm day played host to Diamonds’ first ChromaSport & Trophies UCL Premier home league game of the season, and spelled the start of a six-game run of home games at the Dog and Duck. A first half littered with intensity caused no goals, and it took 52 minutes for a goal, Fazel Koriya taking his chance from the edge of the box. Diamonds doubled the lead on 74 minutes, Koriya scoring again with a powerful header. Boston replied instantly 2 minutes later, a driven shot from substitute Wattam beating a helpless Finlay.
Manager Andy Peaks started with a familiar line up, with one change from Tuesday night’s win over Newport Pagnell. Matt Finlay continued in goal, with a back four of Joe Merrill, Arron Parkinson, Jack Ashton and Sam Brown. Brad Harris replaced Richard Bunting in centre midfield, partnering Adam Confue, with Fazel Koriya and Elliot Lamb-Johnson out wide. Jason Turner and Tom Lorraine continued up front. A strong bench of Greg Ling, Quincy Shoronmu, Matt Gearing, Liam Dolman and Russ Dunkley gave the manager a lot of options.
Boston kicked off, and so began a lively start to the game. A fast paced early 10 minutes featured an early booking for Boston’s Courtney Warren for an over enthusiastic tackle on Lamb-Johnson. Both teams had lots of possession in the final thirds, and lots of quick attacking play set a marker for the game to continue by. No real chances for either team during the first half an hour, lots of possession and movement round the goals, and some good link up play from Turner, Lorraine and Confue.
During the 32nd minute, Boston had a real chance. A clearance from a corner and Boston began a counter attack, Borbely releasing Nuttall into space who found himself in the penalty area one on one with Matt Finlay, who did well to save the shot and smother it at the second time of asking. Boston, on the 36th minute had a good penalty appeal turned down, Parkinson sliding in on incoming Matt Kennedy and sending him to ground.
A lack of chances and intensity meant an end to the first half, both teams being limited to counter attacks.
Half time; AFC Rushden and Diamonds 0-0 Boston Town
Diamonds resumed the second half, looking for a lively start similar to that of the first. Elliot Lamb-Johnson received a yellow card after 50 minutes for a combination of fouls.
Diamonds broke the deadlock after 52 minutes. A great cross field diagonal ball from Parkinson to Fazel Koriya, who cut inside from the left and drove forward to the edge of the box, before slotting the ball into the bottom left of the net to put Diamonds 1-0 up.
Diamonds continued their pressure, from a corner kick the ball came out to Joe Merrill, who unleashed a fierce shot which hammered against the underside of the bar. Changes were made for Boston and Diamonds, Aaron Eyett coming on for Lori Borbely and Matt Gearing replacing Elliot Lamb-Johnson, in the 62 and 63th minutes respectively. Diamonds made another change on the 68th minute, Russ Dunkley replacing Jason Turner after 68 minutes. Jack Ashton was shown a yellow card for a lunging challenge after 72 minutes.
Diamonds, and Koriya, got another goal on 74 minutes. A wonderfully floated Matt Gearing corner found Fazel Koriya, 3 yards out and completely unmarked, who headed into the net to put Diamonds 2-0 up.
Boston replied instantly, a quick attack, a good strike from Lee Wattam, the ball going through the fingers of Matt Finlay and pulling Boston back into the game after 76 minutes to make the score 2-1.
Diamonds had more chances, the ball with Gearing just outside the box, an attempted shot looking like it was going horribly wide, with Russ Dunkley surging in and his shot from 2 yards hitting the post, coming back across goal and a shot being blocked from 4 yards before Koriya hit the post again, and Boston were able to clear.
The latter of the game was relentless Boston attacking, trying to find a equaliser, but it was to no avail, and the referee called time on an exciting encounter.
Diamonds man of the match : Fazel Koriya
Match report by Adam Cockings
The Diamonds travel to Burton Latimer on Tuesday evening to face Burton Park Wanderers in the UCL Knock-Out Cup (KO 7:45) – Preview here.
17. Matt Finlay
2. Joe Merrill
3. Sam Brown
4. Brad Harris
5. Arron Parkinson
6. Jack Ashton
7. Elliot Lamb-Johnson
8. Adam Confue
9. Tom Lorraine
10. Jason Turner
11. Fazel Koriya
Greg Ling (for Lorraine, 82)
Matt Gearing (for Lamb-Johnson, 63)
Russ Dunkley (for Turner, 68)
1. Rick Drury
2. Tim Lowe
3. Courtney Warren
4. Craig Mitchell
5. Simon Ashton
6. Nick Jackson
7. Lawrence Lambley
8. George Zuerner
9. Lori Borbely
10. Jordan Nuttall
11. Matthew Kennedy
Aaron Eyett (for Borbely, 62)
Lee Wattam (for Mitchell, 68)
Goals: Koriya (50, 74)
Yellow Cards: Lamb-Johnson (50), Ashton (72)
Yellow Cards: Warren (3)
Referee: Gavin McFarlane
Assistants: Paul Jackson, Wyndham Trusler