AFC Rushden & Diamonds 3 Eynesbury Rovers 0

AFC Rushden & Diamonds went 5 points clear at the top of the UCL Premier League on Tuesday night with an ultimately comfortable 3-0 victory against Eynesbury Rovers.

After a bright start by the visitors Diamonds took the lead on 10 minutes through Tom Lorraine running through on goal from a great through ball and finishing coolly past Chamberlain in the Eynesbury goal. They doubled their lead on 24 minutes again through Tom Lorraine seizing on another through ball and firing into the roof of the net from the edge of the box. A youthful Eynesbury side had plenty of possession but were unable to trouble a strong Diamonds defence and Diamonds finally took one of their numerous second half chances on 85 minutes when Elliott Lamb-Johnson saw his shot on the turn from 30 yards creep inside the far post to clinch the result.

 

Diamonds went with an unchanged line-up from Saturday’s 5-1 win at Long Buckby with just one change on the bench as Elliott Lamb-Johnson came in for Joel Gyasi.

After back to back home draws Diamonds were looking to get back to winning ways at the Dog & Duck on a chilly night but it was Eynesbury who started brightest. They pretty much dominated possession in the first 10 minutes with neat passing in the middle third but as they would do all night struggled to make meaningful chances from some decent attacking positions. The closest they came was a volley from Chris Stericki from a good position 15 yards out which went horribly wide.

They were punished in Diamonds first meaningful attack on 10 minutes as Adam Confue picked up possession near the half-way line, surged forward and fed a superb ball between the centre-halves to put Tom Lorraine clear through on goal. Coming in from an angle on the left-hand side he coolly lifted the ball over Jamie Chamberlain in the Eynesbury goal for his 9th goal of the season.

Lorriane would be prominent all night for the home side and nearly added to his tally on 22 minutes. He was fed in on the right hand-side of the box by a great through-ball from Matt Gearing but his first time shot on the turn was blocked by Chamberlain.

A youthful Eynesbury side continued to shade periods of possession but were let down by misplaced  passing in the final third. Alex Marsh was regularly on the ball in the midfield looking promising but just failing to find his colleagues in promising positions.

The Diamonds midfield noticeably stepped up the pressing of the Eynesbury youngsters after their early dominance with Brad Harris and Adam Confue starting to pick up possession in the middle of the park. It was from just such a tackle that they added a second goal on 24 minutes. Jack Ashton won the ball and his early pass put Tom Lorraine through on goal in the right-hand channel. This time the tall striker lashed the ball into the roof of the net from the edge of the box before keeper Chamberlain could react.

Possession remained even between the sides without too much in the way of chances but Diamonds looking more of a threat in the final third. Adam Confue came closest for Diamonds with a volley when in space on the edge of the box which was blocked when he looked a certainty to score. Chris Stericki volleyed over from the right hand side of the box for Eynesbury when played in by Luca Dusi.

Half-time: AFC Rushden & Diamonds 2 Eynesbury Rovers 0

As temperatures noticeably fell the action became more limited in the second half with Diamonds solid defensively and periodically looking dangerous in attack. Jason Turner nearly got in on 49 minutes from another through ball, looking to lob the out rushing Chamberlain who while outside the area must have been close to using his hands to block the ball.

On 55 minutes Turner was needlessly pushed in the back by Luca Dusi 10 yards out whose reaction was extreme including kicking the ball away and he picked up the only yellow card of the night. After dummies between Gearing and Dolman it was Dolman who fired in the resultant free-kick just high and wide.

On 60 minutes Dolman left the field to be replace by Aaron Parkinson having apparently picked up a knock.

Lee Bassett was impressive for Eynesbury all night and he created a chance for himself a minute later as Eynesbury broke quickly. He cut inside from the left to work an excellent shooting opportunity but fired over from 20 yards.

Charlie Butt continued to impress for Diamonds in just his 6th game and he showed great composure in possession to work space to hit a superb deep ball into Matt Gearing on 62 minutes, but his squared ball into Fazel Koriya was just blocked for a corner.

Tom Lorraine came close to his hat-trick on 63 chasing another good through-ball, just knicking it past keeper Chamberlain but being forced wide in the process allowing a defender to get a block on his resultant effort.

Sam Brown was showing real attacking intent on the left-hand-side and he latched onto a pull back from a corner on 65 and hit a great first time ball that Jack Ashton flicked just wide.

Fazel Koriya then got in the action on 67 to volley wide from 18 yards at the end a sweeping move reminiscent of Diamonds at their best.

Eynesbury continued to press forward and Bassett had a another great opportunity on 69 as the ball was pulled back to him to fire in a shot that felt like it had to be the goal Eynesbury sorely needed, but another flying block from a Diamonds defender saved the day.

A series of substitutions punctuated the next period with Elliott Lamb-Johnson replacing Fazel Koriya and Scott Joseph on for Tom Lorraine who left to a standing ovation.

Chances were limited as the game ran it’s course, although Matt Finlay had to be alert first to tip a swerving shot over one handfed, and then to block Bassett’s effort from close range for Eynesbury as they tried to raise a final charge.

It wasn’t to be though and it was Diamonds who wrapped up the game and the points on 85 minutes. Jason Turner had come close to flicking Adam Confue’s cut-back over keeper Chamberlain. The ball was only partially cleared to Elliott Lamb-Johnson 30 yards out who hit a hopeful shot on the turn which somehow crept past Chamberlain in the Eynesbury goal.

Full-time: AFC Rushden & Diamonds 3 – Eynesbury Rovers 0

Diamonds returned to winning ways at the Dog & Duck in an eventually comfortable win against a youthful but impressive in parts Eynesbury side. Tom Lorraine is now in double figures for the season and added two excellent finishes to his repertoire this season, and there was a solid, familiar look about the team and performance that will have pleased manager Andy Peaks. Not absolutely at their best, but clinical with their chances Diamonds will be looking to another good run in into the festive period with trips to Boston and Thurnby either side of a home game against Harrowby.

Man of the Match awarded by Match Sponsors Iron Man Dry Cleaning: Tom Lorraine

Attendance: 331

Match Report by Paul Judd

 

AFC Rushden & Diamonds

Eynesbury Rovers

17. Matt Finlay

2.   Charlie Butt

3.   Sam Brown

4.   Jack Ashton

5.   Liam Dolman

6.   Brad Harris

7.   Matt Gearing

8.   Adam Confue

9.   Tom Lorraine

10. Jason Turner

11. Fazel Koriya

Subs

13. Rhys Redding

14. Scott Joseph (for Lorraine 81)

15. Elliott Lamb-Johnson (for Koriya 77)

16. Aaron Parkinson (for Dolman 60)

19. Russ Dunkley

1.   Jamie Chamberlain

2.   Cameron Clark

3.   Macauley Clark

4.   Robert Ducket

5.   James Ducket

6.   Luca Dusi

7.   Chris Stericki

8.   James Freshwater

9.   Lee Bassett

10. Tom Coles

11. Alex Marsh

Subs

12. Rhys Thorpe (for Stericki 75)

14. Ryan Inskip (for Dusi 70)

15. Dan Hardy (for Coles 82)

16. Marcus Hering

17. Nathan Field

Goals: Lorraine (10 & 24), Lamb-Johnson (85)

 

Goals:

Yellow Cards: None

 

Yellow Cards: Dusi (53)

Red Cards:

 

 Red Cards:

Referee: Callum Sharp

Assistants: Mark Connolly & Lukas Wood

 

 

 

 

Updated player profiles with appearance and goalscoring details are now available.
 
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Match Gallery courtesy of Malcolm Swinden Photography (click on the link to access the Diamonds Photo Gallery for more images from this game and ecommerce options). Copyright Mal Swinden ©2014

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