AFC Rushden & Diamonds 6 – Huntingdon Town 1

AFC Rushden & Diamonds put 6 past Huntingdon Town on Saturday afternoon to make it 13 in two weeks against the Cromwellians and maintain their 4 point lead at the top of the UCL Prem.

As they had done in their home game two weeks back it was Huntingdon who took the lead against their table topping opponents. Chris Jones hit a superb rising shot from 20 yards in off the underside of the bar on 24 minutes after Diamonds had spurned 4 good chances in the first 11 minutes. The lead lasted just 10 minutes before Russ Dunkley hit an audacious high lob from 30 yards over the Huntingdon keeper for his 35th Diamonds goal putting him second on the all time Diamonds goal scoring charts. After a scrappy start to the second half Diamonds took the lead through Matt Gearing on 56 minutes again lobbing the Huntingdon keeper from the right hand side of the box after finding himself clear. The third came on 63 Declan Rogers firing home left-footed from 15 yards after good work by Harris, Dunkley and Berwick put him clear. Just 6 minutes later Liam Dolman kept up his recent goal scoring efforts squeezing the ball home from the centre of the box after Dunkley had created mayhem in the Huntingdon defence. The 5th was a well deserved 2nd Diamonds goal for Tommy Berwick firing in to the bottom corner from the edge of the box. After the lively second half substitute Jason Turner had had three good chances and was then carried off with a possible ankle injury, Adam Confue made it 6 with virtually the final kick of the game. Encouraged to shoot by the crowd from 30 yards he looped in a shot that again beat the Huntingdon keeper.


Manager Andy Peaks reverted to his first choice line up after the changes made for the mid-week KO Cup Quarter-final win at Yaxley. Adam Confue was back in centre midfield after missing last week’s trip to Eynesbury and Brad Harris came in at right back. It allowed probably the most attacking and goal laden bench we’ve ever seen with Elliot Lamb-Johnson joining Jason Turner, Scott Joseph and Tom Lorraine.

On a firm pitch in sunny but cool conditions Diamonds started brightly creating a series of early chances against a side they had put 7 goals past just 2 weeks ago.

In the second minute Declan Rogers fired in a first time volley from the edge of the box just over the bar from Russ Dunkley’s knock-down. 2 minutes later Adam Confue latched onto another Dunkley knock-down and fired in a volley that Huntingdon keeper Alex Brown held low by the near post. Then from a similar position on 6 minutes in space on the right-hand edge of the box Tommy Berwick fired across the area the ball just evading Russ Dunkley.

The chances kept coming in this early period as Diamonds moved the ball well and at pace. Matt Gearing was worked into space on the edge of the box by Dunkley but his lobbed effort was comfortably held by Brown on 11 minutes. A minute later Adam Confue fed in Tommy Berwick on the right hand side of the box and he hit the bouncing ball firmly on the volley but just over. On 15 Matt Gearing blocked a Huntingdon clearance, ran into the left-hand side of the box where his cross was split by keeper Brown spilt and Richard Bunting was just eased off the ball as he looked like converting.

Having weathered the early storm Huntingdon settled into the game and began to get their young midfield players on the ball. They started to retain possession better and their mobile forwards were putting the Diamonds back four under pressure for the first time.

And as they had done in the game two weeks back it was Huntingdon who took the lead. After Jack Ashton mistimed an interception attempt on 24 minutes Huntingdon had possession and players in space in the final third. The ball was worked to Chris Jones 25 yards out who hit a superb left foot shot that clipped the underside of the bar as it fired into the net in front of a stunned Peter de Banke terrace.

Diamonds were having a quiet period in the game after that explosive start and the equaliser on 34 minutes came a bit out of the blue. Russ Dunkley challenged for the ball 40 yards from goal, and as it bounced up he hit a high lob over keeper Brown who was well off his line and could only watch as it came down under the bar and bounced up into the roof of the net. It was his 35th Diamonds goal and now put’s him 2nd on Diamonds all-time time goal scoring charts behind Alfie Taylor’s total of 50.

The half ended with one final Diamonds chance. Matt Gearing firing an acrobatic volley from the edge of the box just over after yet another Russ Dunkley knock-down.

Half-time: AFC Rushden & Diamonds 1 – Huntingdon Town 1

After a fairly scrappy start to the second-half Diamonds started to gain the positive momentum that would see them dominate proceedings.

Sam Brown surged forward down the left-hand side to help set up Russ Dunkley for a dangerous cross on 52 minutes that was just cleared but the goal that took Diamonds into the lead would come down the right. Matt Gearing’s initial break on 56 was halted, but the ball was won back and fed to Gearing in space on the right hand-edge of the box and with the ball bouncing into his path he coolly lobbed Alex Brown for his 31st Diamonds goal and 9th of the season.

Huntingdon stayed in the game in this early period of the second half and came close to an equaliser on 59. A free-kick right on the edge of the area was blocked for a corner and the corner fell to Chris Jones for a clear header that he put wide.

Tommy Berwick was working well for his team all afternoon and he superbly turned his man on the right wing, surged into the box and fired a dangerous cross that Huntingdon scrambled clear.

Levi Wright then latched onto a rare Liam Dolman error and curled a good effort that Matt Finlay had to concentrate to hold.

The 3rd goal that pretty much clinched the game came on 63 came from a great back to front move. Brad Harris in the full-back position called to Russ Dunkley and hit the ball 40 yards right to him, he flicked it inside to Tommy Berwick who guided it into Declan Rogers path for the midfielder to fire in left-footed from 15 yards.

On 69 minutes it was 4 for Diamonds. A free-kick from the left fell to Russ Dunkley in space, he chested down and although his effort was blocked Liam Dolman was on hand to squeeze the ball inside the post from the middle of the area for his 7th goal in 6 games.

Tommy Berwick came so close to adding a 5th on 75 controlling the ball well at pace as he broke into the area and placing his shot past keeper Brown but seeing it come back off the post.

2 minutes later on 77 Tommy Berwick had the goal his play most definitely deserved. He was found in a similar position on the edge of the box by another great Brad Harris pass and he fired a thunderous effort into the bottom corner for his 2nd Diamonds goal and was acclaimed by a delighted home crowd.

Jason Turner, Tom Lorraine and Scott Joseph all then entered the fray with Diamonds testing the 4-3-3 formation that had worked so well at Yaxley in the week.

Jason Turner in particular was prominent seeing a 25 yard volley dip just over the bar, having a goal disallowed for offside as he lobbed Brown from the edge of the box, and then again lobbing into keeper Brown’s hands after a great Brad Harris pass. He took a challenge in the last effort and after lengthy treatment was helped from the pitch with a worrying ankle injury.

It meant Diamonds finished the game with 10 men having used all 3 substitutes, but with the very last kick off the game Adam Confue added a 6th. In space 30 yards from goal he was encouraged to shoot by the crowd and fired in a looping effort that crashed into the net for his 9th of the season.

Final Score: AFC Rushden & Diamonds 6 – Huntingdon Town 1

As they had done 2 weeks ago Huntingdon were competitively in the game for an hour and took the lead against their table topping opponents. Diamonds definitely upped the tempo in the second half and scored some excellent goals. Everyone was pleased for Tommy Berwick getting his second much deserved goal for the club, and a 6-1 victory back at the Dog & Duck set’s up next weekends visit of 2nd placed Wisbech

Man of the Match chosen by Match Sponsors Jon Essam & Co Ltd: Tommy Berwick

Attendance: 507

Match Report by Paul Judd


AFC Rushden & Diamonds

Huntingdon Town

17. Matt Finlay

2.   Brad Harris

3.   Sam Brown

4.   Jack Ashton

5.   Liam Dolman

6.   Adam Confue

7.   Matt Gearing

8.   Richard Bunting

9.   Russ Dunkley

10. Tommy Berwick

11. Declan Rogers


12. Eliott Lamb-Johnson

13. Rhys Redding

14. Tom Lorraine (for Dunkley 78)

15. Jason Turner (for Berwick 81)

16. Scott Joseph (for Gearing 81)

1.   Alex Brown

2.   Ben Colmer

3.   Karl Anderson

4.   Gee Mailancol

5.   Arry Scarborough

6.   Tom Skidmore

7.   Andrew Buckie

8.   Luke Kennedy

9.   Levi Wright

10. Chris Jones

11. Antonio Douglas


12. Louie Medwynter

14. Craig Bailey

15. Joe Bennett

16. Dom Jackson

17. Neil Godhania


Goals: Dunkley (34), Gearing (52), Rogers (63), Dolman (69), Berwick (77), Confue (90+2)

Goals: Jones (24)

Yellow Cards:

Yellow Cards:

Red Cards:

 Red Cards:

Referee: Kevin Saunby

Assistants: Richard Armitage, Andrew Burston



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