AFC Rushden & Diamonds 3 Thrapston Town 0


AFC Rushden & Diamonds claimed their first ever win against a determined Thrapston side at Wellingborough Town’s Dog & Duck ground. After a scrappy first 10 minutes, AFC dominated the match and restricted Thrapston to the occasional counter attack. Thrapston did however have the a couple of chances to take an early lead and struck the base of the left-hand upright on 4 minutes. After this early scare AFC began to dominate possession in midfield and to play some good passing football. Thrapston keeper Liam Allaway was tested on a number of occasions with a several long range efforts, also pulling off a decent save from the head of an onrushing AFC forward.  The newly formed club deservedly took the lead on the half hour mark, although the opener did have a degree of luck about it. Diamonds won a free kick about 20 yards out which Zack Moon drilled low and against the legs of the jumping Thrapson wall, a deflection which took the ball past the diving Allaway and into the bottom corner. AFC continued to press and a well deserved second goal did not take long to come, Bjorn Kleinhans latching onto a clever through ball and slotting comfortably into the net. The score could have been 3 nil shortly before half time, but what would have been a second Kleinhans goal was ruled out following an offside during the build-up play.


Diamonds started the second half as they had left off in the first and continued to play attractive, free flowing football. On around 55 minutes, Kelinhans struck the bar from a bouncing downward header and around 5 minutes later Danny Bird smacked the crossbar with another header from a well-placed corner. The Town goal was leading a charmed life although they nearly pulled a goal back on the counter attack and AFC substitute keeper Ashley Foulger was forced into an excellent save to preserve the clean sheet. Lewis Williams, scorer of AFC’s first ever goal in Sunday, was introduced with about 15 minutes remaining and almost made an immediate impact with a mazy run which resulted in him smacking a shot against the angle of bar and post. The game was made safe shortly after when a clever through ball was latched on to by a delighted Kai Robertson, who coolly slotted past the advancing keeper. The Diamonds continued to dominate the latter stages of the game, spending the majority of last few minutes camped in the Thrapston half and preserved a satisfying clean sheet. After cooling down the AFC players made their way into the dressing rooms to rapturous appluase from the 163 fans present, appreciative of an excellent display by their team. There are certainly plenty of positives to take into the friendlly away at Irchester on Monday evening before Diamonds take on Northampton ON Chenecks at Kiln Park on Thursday at 7:45pm in their first ever league game.


Speaking to, manager Mark Starmer said: “It was a good performance from the team, they are starting to play with confidence and believe in what they are doing.  There is still a long way to go but the progress being made is very encouraging. I would like to say thank you to the fans for all the support that we had last night, it really does lift the boys.”

Photos courtesy of Malcolm Swinden


AFC Rushden & DiamondsThrapston Town
24  Adam Batten
2  Brad Mellows
3  Zack Farden
4  Adam Ziolkowski
5  Danny Bird (C)
6  Zack Moon
7  Blake Helsdown
8  Levi Freeman
9  Bjorn Kleinhans
10 Alex McDonald
11 Trialist
1 Liam Allaway
2 Dave Morton
3 Declan Ward
4 Kai Wright
5 Jamie Campbell
6 Ryan Caller
7 Connor Derkin
8 Luke Stevens
9 Ryan Ives
10 Jake Simpson
11 Hayden Freeman
Subs Used:
86 Ashley Foulger
12 Mark Rust
14 Dan Paterson
15 Leeson Baker
16 Kai Robertson
17 Trialist
18 Lewis Williams
19 Harry Matthews
Not Used:
20 Dan Simpson
Subs Used:
12 Ryan Clements
14 Luke Odell
15 Elliott Rowe
16 William Gadsby