AFC Rushden & Diamonds 5 Oxhey Jets 1


AFC Rushden & Diamonds stormed through their Extra Preliminary Round FA Cup tie on Friday night with a comprehensive 5-1 victory over Oxhey Jets in front of a delighted 495 crowd.

After a lively start by both sides Diamonds took control on 24 minutes as Fazel Koriya chipped past Baker in the Oxhey goal from 12 yards. Koriya added a second on 39 turning home Matt Gearing’s firm cross from close range at the second attempt, and a third was added just on half time through an own goal after Oxhey defender Fongho slammed the ball into his own net from 5 yards under pressure. Oxhey replied on 49 through Lee Armitt after a bright start to the second half but Diamonds continued to dominate and Koriya claimed his hat-trick on 75 and cemented his man of the match performance turning home the rebound after Confue’s firm shot was only parried by Baker. Second half substitute Jason Turner then rounded off the night perfectly on 90 minutes with his first goal for the club coolly rounding the keeper and slotting home in front of a delighted Peter de Banke Terrace.

First Team Manager Andy Peaks selected the same starting X1 that began the season at Harborough on Tuesday with Fazel Koriya again playing up front alongside last season’s FA Cup goal scoring hero Russ Dunkley. Elliot Lamb-Johnson made his home debut on the right with Matt Gearing on the left of the ever combative Richard Bunting and Brad Harris in the centre midfield. Aaron Parkinson captained the side from centre half alongside Liam Dolman also making his home debut, with Joe Henderson and Jack Ashton at full back and Matt Finlay in goal. One change on the bench saw Greg Ling in for Sam Brown who is still recovering from injury.

The game was played at a lively pace right from the start with both sides  showing immediate attacking intent and good quality on the ball but it was Diamonds who nearly took a very early lead. On 4 minutes Henderson on the overlap hit a low cross to the near post which Dunkley connected with from 6 yards lifting the ball just over the bar. Just a minute later Lamb-Johnson showed another glimpse of the skill Diamonds fans are going to be treated to this season with a cheeky drag back after getting onto a ball into the right channel with his low cross cleared for a corner as Dunkley closed in.

Oxhey were equal to Diamonds in the early stages and twice got onto good through balls behind the Diamonds defence but Dolman, Parkinson and Henderson in particular were quick to snuff out the danger. The impressive Alfie Hatch soon had the first Oxhey effort on goal though, cutting in from the left along the 18 yard line and shooting low for Matt Finlay to save well.

Fazel Koriya who had scored a hat-trick on his home debut last season was prominent in the early stages and linked well with Harris to set-up Gearing whose low shot was easily saved by Oxhey keeper Baker. Gearing himself was finding space when moving inside to support the front two and had a probably even better chance from about 15 yards after Harris flicked the ball into his path but he stubbed his shot when in plenty of space and it trickled to the arms of the Baker. Soon after he put in a dangerous cross after great interplay between Dunkley and Ashton that Oxhey just cleared for a corner.

Diamonds were starting to build momentum and were matching skill with physicality, particularly Bunting who added plenty of chat to the referee, and he was finally punished with a yellow card for persistent fouls on 21.

The opening goal Diamonds were building towards finally came on 24 minutes. A swift move saw Gearing feed the ball in to Dunkley and he laid it into the path of Fazel Koriya who chipped over the onrushing Baker in the Oxhey goal from 12 yards for his second of the season.

Diamonds continued to dominate this period of the game with Dunkley prominent. He had a superb snap shot on the turn that just went over, and knocked down a deep free-kick for Koriya to feed Lamb-Johnson whose shot from 8 yards was blocked by a desperate Oxhey defence. Ashton nearly got his second of the season with a diving header from almost point blank range as he forced himself past the defender on the far post to get onto a deep Henderson free-kick only for the keeper to make another blocking save.

The second goal finally came on 38 minutes. Koriya started the move with a great ball to Gearing inside the penalty area, and as he fed a low cross along the 6 yard line Fazel Koriya was there to finish at the second attempt.

He very nearly grabbed a first half hat-trick with a tremendous curling drive from the edge of the box which Baker acrobatically tipped over.

The third goal which capped an impressive first half came in unfortunate circumstances for Oxhey on 44 minutes, with defender Fongho slamming an attempted clearance into his own net from 5 yards after yet another dangerous cross from Matt Gearing.

Half-time :   AFC Rushden & Diamonds 3 Oxhey Jets 0

Oxhey started the second half with real purpose and pulled a goal back on 49 minutes. The dangerous Alfie Hatch found space behind full-back Henderson and hit an early cross to Lee Armitt to prod home from 6 yards.

It stung Diamonds into second half action with Lamb-Johnson who had been a real threat all night completing a classic push the ball one side of the defender and run round the other move at real pace with his resultant dangerous cross cleared for a corner.

On 53 Adam Confue made his home debut replacing Bunting who had taken a knock early in the second half. Oxhey brought on Eoin Casey for Alfie Hatch and the game entered a quieter phase with Oxhey unable to create much in the way of momentum to get back into the game, and Diamonds content to probe for an opening. Greg Ling came on for Matt Gearing on 69 minutes and soon after Oxhey created what was to be their last real chance in the game. They won the ball in midfield and Casey was put into space that looked threatening forcing Henderson into a desperate challenge producing a free-kick. While fans were thinking he was lucky to get away without a yellow card the free-kick was taken quickly and Casey ran into space but blasted over.

Diamonds killed off the game on 76 minutes with a sweeping move involving Koriya dancing past a couple of challenges and pulling the ball back for Confue to shoot hard and low from 18 yards. Baker got down well to save but only pushed the ball into Fazel Koriya’s path and he swept the ball home for his hat-trick in front of a delighted Peter de Banke terrace.

During the aftermath Andrew Brennan was booked for dissent….not his first tirade at the referee and was soon substituted most likely to save him from a red card. Jason Turner came on for his home debut straight after that goal for Fazel Koriya and he rounded of the evening perfectly in the 90th minute with a first goal for Diamonds. He got onto Confue’s flicked header at the end of another sweeping move involving Lamb-Johnson, just beating the keeper to the ball and coolly slotting home.

Final Score : AFC Rushden & Diamonds 5 Oxhey Jets 1

An impressive performance for Diamonds, one of the best we’ve seen at the Dog & Duck and keeping up the incredible home goal scoring record in the FA Cup – that’s 22 goals in 4 games now. Fazel Koriya started his home season with hat-trick as he did last seasons, and Jason Turner will be pleased to get off the mark in such impressive style. Diamonds go on to play Bedford Town in the Preliminary Round on the weekend on 30th August meaning the Huntingdon game will need to be re-arranged.

Diamonds Man of the Match Chosen By Club Shirt Sponsor Hevey Building Supplies: Fazel Koriya

Attendance : 495


AFC Rushden & Diamonds

Oxhey Jets

17. Matt Finlay

2.   Joe Henderson

3.   Jack Ashton

4.   Brad Harris

5.   Liam Dolman

6.   Aaron Parkinson

7.   Elliot Lamb-Johnson

8.   Richard Bunting

9.   Russ Dunkley

10. Fazel Koriya

11. Matt Gearing


12. Tom Lorraine

13. Rhys Redding

14. Jason Turner (for Fazel Koriya 78)

15. Greg Ling (for Matt Gearing 70)

18. Adam Confue (for Richard Bunting 54)

1. Will Baker

2. Joe Kelly

3. Jamie Speer

4. Sam Phillips

5. Ashley Fongho

6. John Daily

7. Adam Lowton

8. Andrew Brennan

9. Lee Armitt

10. Warren Gladdy

11. Alfie Hatch


12. Michael McRoberts

13. Dave Boateng

14. Harry Beaumont

15. Simeon Armstrong (for Andrew Brennan 80)   

16. Karl Bull

17. Lewis Cook

18. Eoin Casey (for Alfie Hatch 57)

Goals: Koriya (24, 38, 76), OG (44), Turner (90)

Goals: Armitt (49)

Yellow Cards: Bunting (21)

Yellow Cards: Brennan (75)

Referee: Mathew Hopton

Assistants: Paul Gale & Mathew Edge



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