AFC Rushden & Diamonds 2 Moneyfields 2

Diamonds were denied what would have been a deserved come from behind win against unbeaten table toppers Moneyfields by a 93rd minute header from a disputed free-kick award.

Moneyfields had taken the lead from a 7th minute free-kick superbly dispatched by Poate. Diamonds worked hard to get back into the game but were consistently frustrated by the Portsmouth men who gradually got on top and went in deserved leaders 1-0 at half-time.

A double substitution at half-time saw Bell-Toxtle and Hoban introduced and it energised Diamonds. They equalised on 53 through a Liam Dolman penalty despite attempts to distract him from the Moneyfields captain. Diamonds began to build up periods of pressure and finally took the lead on 82 through another substitute Ben Diamond with a downward header from a Luke Fairlamb free-kick.

Goal scorer Poate was then dismissed for pulling back Tom Lorraine when he was clean through and Diamonds looked to be closing out the game easily. The cruel final twist came in the 93rd minute though as a free-kicks was awarded by the under pressure referee who penalised Diamonds when the Diamonds player looked to have been felled. Predictably the ball was headed home by Moneyfields captain Hutchings to keep their unbeaten record alive.

It was a real blow for Diamonds who had worked hard to get ahead in the game against incredibly frustrating but clearly talented opposition.

AFC Rushden & Diamonds came back after an 11 day break to draw 2-2 with top of the table Moneyfields in a dramatic game on Saturday afternoon. The league leaders took an early lead through defender Brett Poate’s free kick, but Diamonds managed to overturn the deficit with two goals in the second half; firstly a Liam Dolman penalty and a header from debutant Ben Diamond. The three points seemed all but sealed as Poate received a straight red card towards the end; however a Steven Hutchings header deep in stoppage time rescued a point for the visitors who remain unbeaten.

Andy Peaks made two changes to the starting line-up that beat Barton Rovers. New signing Ryan Robbins replaced Nabil Shariff up front following the striker’s departure toAlfretonTownon Friday. Darryl Smith missed out, with Luke Fairlamb deputising at left wing. Further signings Ben Diamond and Adam North came into the squad, starting on the bench.

Left back Ben Ford received an early booking for going in hard on a Moneyfields player, resulting in the player needing treatment.

On seven minutes, Tom Lorraine was penalised for a push by the corner of the Diamonds box on Ryan Austin. Defender Brett Poate stepped up to curl a well struck 20-yard free kick, left footed into the top corner.

Three minutes later, Diamonds almost responded in style. A free kick from Richard Bunting was laid off for Ben Farrell to run and hit from 30 yards but his effort crashed against the bar, bounced down onto the line and out.

On 22 minutes, Austin moved into the box with Punter on him. The defender managed to get a good block in before the ball fell back to the striker but his tight angled shot was saved by Ben Heath. A few minutes later, Heath was tested again as a long ball was headed down for Steven Hutchings to volley first time straight at the keeper.

Diamonds had their first effort on target on 37 minutes. Fairlamb’s mazy run found him outside the area before passing to Robbins who turned and shot directly at Mowthorpe.

A minute later, Ford was judged to have fouledAustinon the right. The full back escaped a second booking, and the resulting free kick was swung in and headed by Fennemore on to the cross bar. A few minutes later, Fennemore was booked for pulling back Joel Gyasi.

Moneyfields went into half time with a deserved lead, with Diamonds struggling to get into the game.

Half time: AFC Rushden & Diamonds 0 Moneyfields 1

Diamonds made two changes at half time to try and get back into the game. Ford and Gyasi both came off, with Fernando Bell-Toxtle and Claudiu Hoban coming on. Diamonds changed their shape, with three at the back and a more bulked midfield.

The tactical change sprung new life into the Diamonds side, and were much the better side in the second half.

A few minutes into the second half, Robbins went down in the area, but the penalty appeals were rightly waved away by the referee as there was little to no contact.

A penalty was awarded for the Diamonds a few minutes later, however, and again it was Robbins going down in the box under challenge from Sam Pearce. Liam Dolman stepped up to take the kick, placing his shot into the bottom right corner, sending the keeper the wrong way to bring the Diamonds level. 

On 62 minutes, a long cross from Fairlamb was met at the back post by Lorraine but he couldn’t get over the ball and his effort flew harmlessly over.

Robbins was down in the area again on 66 minutes, and although initially it looked like there was contact as the defender came across him, the referee booked the striker for simulation.

Five minutes later, Diamonds had a great chance to take the lead. Bell-Toxtle flicked nicely into the path of Lorraine who turned his man brilliantly before laying back to Farrell who scooped his shot over.

Diamonds made their final change on 76 minutes, with Ben Diamond coming on to make his debut, replacing fellow debutant Robbins. And it was a debut to remember for Diamond. Lorraine won a free kick on the right with nine minutes remaining, and Fairlamb’s cross was headed down into the corner of the net to give the Diamonds a deserved lead.

It all seemed to be going pear shaped for Moneyfields, and they had a man sent off just three minutes after the goal.Lorrainemanaged to squirm past Poate before being hacked down by the defender. The referee judged Poate to be the last man, and gave the goal scorer his marching orders.

The resulting free kick from Dolman hit the wall and found its way toLorrainewith the goal at his mercy but his shot was well saved by the onrushing Mowthorpe.

But just when Diamonds thought they’d snatched the victory, the visitors found an equaliser deep into stoppage time. Fairlamb was judged to have fouled Joseph Briggs outside the corner of the box, and the winger swung the free kick in for Hutchings to flick the ball into the far corner three minutes into added time.

The goal proved to be the last action of normal time; however an incident after the final whistle involving Fennemore gesticulating to and inciting the crowd earned him a second yellow card.

Full time: AFC Rushden & Diamonds 2 Moneyfields 2

The result drops Diamonds down to fifth in the table, with Moneyfields remaining unbeaten. Interestingly, Diamonds have conceded the fewest goals in the league so far, conceding just 11 in 13 games. Andy Peaks’ side now look to the home tie on Tuesday night, as they faceWellingboroughTownfor the second time this season; this time in the NFA Senior Hillier Cup before a trip to Uxbridge in the league next Saturday

Attendance: 507

Diamonds’ man of the match: Liam Dolman

Match Report by Adam Benney

AFC   Rushden & Diamonds


13.   Ben Heath

2.   Cameron Gilchrist

3.   Ben Ford

4.   Blaize Punter

5.   Liam Dolman

6.   Ben Farrell

7.   Joel Gyasi

8.   Richard Bunting (c)

9.   Tom Lorraine

10.   Ryan Robbins

11.   Luke Fairlamb



12.   Joe Curtis

14.   Ben Diamond (on for Robbins, 76)

15.   Claudiu Hoban (on for Gyasi, 45)

16.   Fernando Bell-Toxtle (on for Ford, 45)

17.   Adam North

1.   Stephen Mowthorpe

2.   Louie Martin

3.   Jamie Ford

4.   Lewis Fennemore

5.   Brett Poate

6.   Sam Pearce

7.   Tyler Giddings

8.   Marley Ridge

9.   Gary Austin

10.   Steven Hutchings (c)

11.   Joseph Briggs



12.   Jake Raine (on for Hutchings, 90+4)

14.   Curtis Da Costa

15. Max Smith (on forAustin, 72)             

16.   Harry Bedford

17.   Alfie Robinson


Goals:   Dolman (55), Diamond (83)

Goals:   Poate (7), Hutchings (90+3)

Yellow   cards: Ford (4), Robbins (66), Bunting (76), Hoban (87)

Yellow   cards: Fennemore (42)

Red   cards:

Red   cards: Poate (86), Fennemore (after full time)

Referee:   Mr Scott Tallis

Assistants:   Mr Ryan Williams

                    Mr Mariusz Tomon






Shots on   target



Shots   off target












Yellow   cards



Red   cards




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