Diamonds made it back-to-back home wins with a 3-1 victory over Lowestoft Town on Tuesday evening.
Diamonds started brightly taking the lead on 19 minutes. Fernando Bell-Toxtle played in Ty Deacon at the end of a great run and the striker finished coolly at the second attempt. Deacon added a second on 32 minutes finishing Bell-Toxtle’s squared ball before Lowestoft earned a penalty converted by Louis Mcintosh for 2-1 Diamonds at half-time.
Lowestoft pushed men forward early in the second half but struggled to create chances against Diamonds resolute defence. Diamonds threatened throughout the second half and finally got a third through Nathan Tshikuna’s 18 yard strike on 65 minutes.
Diamonds were unchanged from Saturday’s victory over Redditch and started brightly with Ty Deacon close to latching onto the end of a box to box break started by Dean Snedker and progressed by Ravi Shamsi. Lowestoft were also positive in the early stages and forced Dean Snedker into a good low save from a good move.
Diamonds came close on 9 minutes as Ryan Hughes turned Alex Collard’s header across goal towards the net from close range only to see it blocked by the keeper on the line.
The vital opening goal came on 19 minutes as Ty Deacon finished a great team move at the second attempt after good work by Fernando Bell-Toxtle and Nathan Tshikuna.
Alex Collard saw a flying volley clear the bar on 23 minutes and Ravi Shamsi saw a 25 yard free-kick saved low down by the away keeper on 30 minutes as Diamonds pressed.
The second goal duly came on 34 minutes from another good team move. Ty Deacon in the right place to turn home Fernando Bell-Toxtle’s cut back after another great run.
Lowestoft finally pushed men forward in the final minutes of the half and earned a penalty as the Diamonds defence got caught the wrong side of the raiding Kieran Higgs. Louis Mcintosh slammed the penalty home for 2 – 1 Diamonds at half-time.
Half-time: Diamonds 2 Lowestoft 1
Nathan Tshikuna, Connor Furlong and Ravi Shamsi had decent chances in a bright opening to the second half for Diamonds with the latter two producing good saves from the away keeper.
Diamonds were solidly repelling Lowestoft’s efforts to get more men forward and denying the away side any meaningful chances from an improved share of 2nd half possession.
Will Jones came on after 60 minutes to replace Ty Deacon who was carrying a minor knock. On 63 minutes he nodded a Liam Dolman long throw down to Alex Collard who saw his point blank effort blocked by the keeper.
The important and clinching 3rd goal came on 67 minutes as Nathan Tshikuna swivelled on the edge of the box to strike low through the keeper who would have been a tad disappointed. It had the benefit of being an early strike after Ryan Hughes and Connor Furlong had worked hard to set him up.
Connor Furlong, Will Jones and Ravi Shamsi all had chances to add a 4th as Lowestoft tired but they did force Alex Collard into a full length dive clearance at the near post late on.
Full-Time: Diamonds 3 Lowestoft 1
This was a pretty commanding win from Diamonds who started with intensity and held that level through most of the match. Levels dropped a little just before half-time allowing Lowestoft to push forward and earn their penalty. But they were never able to create real chances against the solid Diamonds defence in the second half and Nathan Tshikuna clinched the result adding to Ty Deacon’s first half brace.
Diamonds move up to 8th with this 4th win in 5 before the enforced break this weekend. Next up a trip to Hitchin on December 4th.
Man of the match: Alex Collard
Match Report: Paul Judd
AFC Rushden & Diamonds
13. Dean Snedker
2. Patrick Casey
3. Ryan Hughes
4. Fernando Bell-Toxtle
5. Liam Dolman
6. Alex Collard
7. Nathan Tshikuna
8. Ben Diamond
9. Ty Deacon
10. Ravi Shamsi
11. Connor Furlong
12. Matt Slinn
14. Jesse Akubuine (for Bell-Toxtle 78)
15. Tom Lorraine
16. Adriel George (for Furlong 82)
17. Will Jones (for Deacon 60)
Deacon (19, 34), Nathan Tshikuna (67)
1. Warren Burwood
2. Dylan Ruffles
3. Jack Wilkinson
4. Ryan Jarvis
5. Tai Fleming
6. Travis Cole
7. Ryan Hawkins
8. Owen Murphy
9. Joshua Harvey
10. Louis Mcintosh
11. Marcus Wilkinson
12. Mitchell Belmar (for Wilkinson 78)
14. Destiny Olapido
15. Kieran Higgs (for Hawkins 30)
16. Adam Tann
17. Harry Knights
Louis Mcintosh (44 pen)