AFC Rushden & Diamonds won 3-0 against Buckingham Town at the Dog and Duck on Tuesday evening. Early goals from Jake Newman (11 seconds) and Jack Wisniewski (3 mins) were followed by an Aaron King strike after 36 minutes. Jake Newman had to leave the field with a dislocated shoulder after 8 minutes.
With Joe Merrill absent due to illness and Matt Gearing having picked up a knock at the weekend, Diamonds manager Mark Starmer was able to move the versatile Jake Gillingwater to right back with the return of captain Chris Hope, and restore Elliott Dent to the starting line-up in a wide left-role as he recovers from his injury. Ashley Foulger started in goal, and Aaron King was given a full debut as Quincy Shorunmu and Brad Harris dropped to the bench.
New Buckingham Town manager Neil Griffiths had assembled a new squad in just a few weeks, with only three players in his starting line-up remaining from the side that lost 9-0 to the Diamonds shortly before Christmas.
The game started with a bang, as Jake Newman chased down the ball as the Robins worked it back into defence, and he neatly robbed Alf Mace and fired home, with the goal recorded at 11 seconds!
The Diamonds continued to press, winning a corner on the left almost immediately afterwards, and Jack Wisniewski found space between a static defence to head home the Alfie Taylor corner as the Diamonds got their second goal with less than three minutes on the clock.
The early drama was not over, as Jake Newman fell awkwardly and had to leave the field with a shoulder injury. His replacement Ben Morgan had an immediate impact with a great run down the left to set up Alfie Taylor who saw his effort graze the top of the crossbar.
To their credit, the Robins regrouped after the two early shocks, and were able to force a series of corners mid-way through the half, as well as forcing an excellent last ditch clearance from Jake Gillingwater after keeper Foulger chased a long ball away from his goal.
At the other end Alfie Taylor saw a close-range effort hit keeper Knox after good work from Jack Wisniewski down the right.
After 36 minutes the Diamonds third came from Aaron King after he won the ball from O’Reagan, following an Elliot Dent throw-in, towards the edge of the area and fired home from 20 yards.
The remainder of the half was a frustrating period for Alfie Taylor as he had three attempts on goal, one going wide, one over the bar, and one saved by Knox.
Half-Time: AFC Rushden & Diamonds 3 Buckingham Town 0
The Diamonds continued to control the game in the second period, but efforts from Dent, Deakin and Taylor missed the target, and keeper Knox saved from Morgan and Wisniewski and his defenders cleared a Chris Hope effort off the line.
With the intermittent rain making the pitch even more slippery and energy sapping, the Diamonds midfield pairing of King and McBride controlled the game, and their teammates were also keeping up an excellent workrate to deny the visitors time on the ball.
Full-Time: AFC Rushden & Diamonds 3 Buckingham Town 0
The Diamonds trip to Northampton ON Chenecks this weekend has been postponed in favour of a cup game for Chenecks reserves (which has since been postponed), but keep an eye on this website for any fixture changes ahead of the next fixture due on February 16th.
Diamonds Man-of-the-Match: Sam Brown
For updated player / match stats see here, or check individual player profiles.
AFC Rushden & Diamonds
13. Ashley Foulger
2. Jake Gillingwater
3. Sam Brown
4. Séan McBride
5. Chris Hope (Capt)
6. Alex Deakin
7. Jack Wisniewski
8. Aaron King
9. Alfie Taylor
10. Jake Newman
11. Elliot Dent
12. Brad Harris
14. Deven Ellwood (for Dent 74)
15. Ben Morgan (for Newman 8)
16. Lance Allen (for Wisniewski 66)
17. Quincy Shorunmu
1. Carl Knox
2. Dan Lydiatt
3. Pat Diamond
4. Michael Olatunde
5. Julian Old
6. Alf Mace
7. Joe O’Regan
8. Ben Gallant (Capt)
9. Kyle Stimpson
10. Joel McCormick
11. Ben Shepherd
12. Massimo Colucci (for Lydiatt 80)
14. Terry Tavernier (for O’Reagan 74)
15. Dom Marsala
16. Sol Kazongo
17. Ben Simpson (for Shepherd 65)
Goals: Newman (1), Wisniewski (3), King (36)
Cards : None
Referee: Don Maclarty MBE BEM
Assistants: Gabriel Rabatin, Russell Sykes
For video highlights of the game click here.
Images courtesy of Mal Swinden ©2013 Malcolm Swinden Photography
Click on an image to use picture viewer