AFC Rushden & Diamonds 3 Oadby Town 0

AFC Rushden & Diamonds kept their 100% home league record and added a first league clean sheet in an eventually comfortable 3-0 victory against old foes Oadby Town at the Dog & Duck this afternoon.

In periods of sunny warmth and autumn rainshowers Oadby were bright and positive all afternoon and with better shooting boots might have troubled the home side. Diamonds strength and experience told though and they effectively killed the game off with two goals in the first 20 minutes. Jason Turner headed home from 5 yards on 14 minutes after a great cross from eventual Man of the Match Fazel Koriya, and Elliot Lamb-Johnson shot through the wall at a free-kick on 20 minutes given for handball outside the area that probably should have seen keeper Bellairs receive a red card rather than the yellow he was given. The third was the best of the bunch but didn’t come until the 90th minutes. Second half substitute Russ Dunkley superbly turning his man on the edge of the box and firing high into the net in front of a delighted Peter De Banke Terrace.

Manager Andy Peaks picked an unchanged side from the 8-1 win against Northampton Sileby last week with Sam Brown coming onto a strong looking bench in place of Greg Ling, alongside Matt Gearing, Russ Dunkley, Richard Bunting and Quincy Shorunmu.

In a bright start to the game a young Oadby side showed they would try and take the game to Diamonds at every opportunity. They had the first chance on just 2 minutes when Ife Ogunbayo broke dangerously into the box at the end of a good passing move only for Jack Ashton to make a crucial challenge.

Diamonds were also breaking at pace too in the early stages and Koriya looked to have scored on 5 minutes. Aaron Parkinsons long driven pass out to Elliot Lamb-Johnson was hit first time into Koriya who shot past Oadby keeper Bellairs but the ball went agonisingly wide.

Oadby then had the first of what would be series of good shooting chances from 20 to 25 yards out. Joseph French cut in from the right and hit a swerving shot just over Matt Finays bar.

But it was Diamonds who took the lead on 14 minutes at the end of another good passing move. Fazel Koriya getting into space on the left hand side of the box and firing in a great cross which Jason Turner headed home from 5 yards.

They then doubled the lead and effectively killed off the game on 20 minutes after an incident that could have seen Oadby keeper Bellairs sent-off. He came to edge of his area as Diamonds looked to break behind the back four again and caught the ball landing well outside the box. Referee Darren Knox quickly gave the free-kick and called Bellairs to one side and produced a yellow card when most were expecting a red for deliberate handball.

The ultimate punishment was extracted though with Elliot Lamb-Johnson hiting his free-kick through the wall into the bottom corner for his second goal for Diamonds and second in two weeks.

Oadby continued to impress and work good shooting positions around the edge of the box but didn’t hit the target until just on half-time, and rarely really threatened a resolute Diamonds defence. Oliver Brown-Hill was an excellent presence for Oadby having three of those shooting chances including the one on target that Finlay saved low down from 20 yards.

Diamonds lacked the crispness of passing and the relentness intensity of the previous weeks goalfests but always looked close to adding further goals. Fazel Koriya fed Jason Turner on the edge of the box who shot on the turn just over, Koriya shot just over after breaking clear of the Oadby defence, and Tom Lorraine nodded a deep cross back to Koriya who cleverly rolled it into Adam Confue’s path for the midfielder to shoot just over from the egde of the box. Liam Dolman also had a bullet of a shot from just outside the box which stung the midriff of keeper Bellairs.

Half-time: AFC Rushden & Diamonds 2 – Oadby Town 0

The second-half was fairly low key in the warm autumn sunshine. Oadby had a big share of possession and pressed around the Diamonds box without creating too many dangerous chances. They continued to create shooting opportunities but continued to regularly miss the target.

Brown-Hill was standing out as an impressive young player, dancing past players and driving at the Diamonds defence but like his colleagues failed to hit the target.

Diamonds were pressing throughout but lack of precision in their passing stopped moves and momentum too many times and there were few clear cut chances. Fazel Koriya looked the most likely to damage the Oadby defence and got onto an excellent through ball from Adam Confue on 56 breaking into the left hand side of the box and shooting straight at Bellairs from 15 yards on the angle.

There was a strong penalty shout on 67. Tom Lorraine this time bursting into the box after persistent work by Brad Harris falling in a tangle with an Oadby defender but referee Knox waived away his appeals.

Both strikers were substituted on 69 with Russ Dunkley replacing Tom Lorraine and Richard Bunting replacing Jason Turner allowing Fazel Koriya to move up front alongside Dunkley. Koriya continued to be real threat to Oadby getting out wide and feeding in Elliot Lamb-Johnson whose effort was blocked for a corner, and flicking on a long ball to Russ Dunkley who also fed Lamb-Johnson who again had his shot blocked.

Two yellow cards came in quick succession in the latter stages. Luke Dalby punished for a poor challenge on the fast moving Fazel Koriya for Oadby, and Richard Bunting for a blocking challenge on Brown-Hill who was on the verge of breaking clear again.

The moment of the match came on 90 minutes as Russ Dunkley, impressive again since he came on, turned his man superbly on the edge of the box and hit a rasping shot on the turn into the roof of the net to finally clinch the game.

Final Score: AFC Rushden & Diamonds 3 Oadby Town 0

Two goals in the first 20 minutes effectively killed the game but the goalfest of previous weeks didin’t materialised thanks to an impressive performance by a young Oadby side that belied their lowly league position. Diamonds strength and experience held them off and good finishing at both end of the game gave the scoreline a comfortable look, but a few players looked a little weary in the latter stages and the passing wasn’t quite as clean as in recent weeks so manager Andy Peaks may look to freshen up the starting eleven as they head into a Saturday/Tuesday run of games.

Diamonds are back at the Dog & Duck on Tuesday night for the visit of Desborough Town.

Attendance: 486

Man of the Match (courtesy of match sponsors Michael Wilson & Steve Wittish): Fazel Koriya

Match Report By: Paul Judd


AFC Rushden & Diamonds

Oadby Town

17. Matt Finlay

2.   Joe Merrill

3.   Jack Ashton

4.   Brad Harris

5.   Liam Dolman

6.   Arron Parkinson

7.   Elliott Lamb-Johnson

8.   Adam Confue

9.   Tom Lorraine

10. Jason Turner

11. Fazel Koriya


12. Quincy Shorunmu

13. Sam Brown

14. Richard Bunting (for Jason Turner 69)

15. Matt Gearing (for Lamb-Johnson 89)

16. Russ Dunkley (for Lorraine 69)

1. Aaron Bellairs

2. Luke Dalby

3. Christopher Hollist

4. Colum Nugent

5. Tendai Daire

6. Oliver Brown-Hill

7. Rob Morgan

8. Jared Rydquist

9. Ife Ogunbayo

10. Andre Wiliams

11. Joseph French


12. Joe Williams

14. James Bessey-Saldanha (for French 40)

15. Philip Jurelle (for Williams 58)

16. Kieran Nugent (for Rydquist 64)

17. Mason Brown

Goals: Turner (14), Lamb-Johnson (20), Dunkley (90)


Yellow Cards: Bunting (88) 

Yellow Cards: Bellairs (19), Dalby (78)

Referee: Darren Knox

Assistants: Terry Jeyes, William Hardie



Updated player profiles with appearance and goalscoring details are now available.
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AFC Rushden & Diamonds

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