Bromsgrove Sporting FC 0 AFC Rushden & Diamonds 0

Diamonds earned a valuable away point at high flying Bromsgrove Sporting on Saturday afternoon and could well won it with some great late chances.

The game between these sides at Hayden Road in October was a 10 goal thriller (!) with Bromsgrove netting 8 as Diamonds had 2 men sent off but were well beaten by the incisive attacking Sporting side. The return of Liam Dolman to the Diamonds defence gave encouragement that we wouldn’t see a similar scoreline an that’s how it turned out. The flow of an entertaining game had you thinking goal’s were coming but good last ditch defending won the day and the key chances that did come along were spurned.

After a slow start Diamonds built good pressure around the 15 minute mark as Matt Sinn created a chance for Liam Dolman to set-up Jack Ashton but he headed the captain’s header back across goal just over. Nathan Hicks then drove a great effort just wide after a typical forward run and Nabil Shariff latched onto good play from Ben Acquaye to curl an effort that produced a good save from the home keeper. Acquaye himself then produce another good save from the home keeper in a good spell for the away side. Bromsgrove were always lively in attack cutting through at times as they had at Hayden Road but seeing good Diamonds scramble defence save the day. The key striker pulled a penalty area cross down only to see his effort deflected wide and Ben Heath made a great full length save from the other striker to send the sides in level at half-time.

After Ben Heath had made another good save to keep things level Diamonds had half chances for Jordan McLeod and Nabil Shariff before the hard working impressive Jesse Akubuine forced another good save from the home keeper. Both sides then had chances that should have won an entertaining game in the last quarter. First Liam Dolman was somehow denied from close range after sub Nat Gosnal-Tyler had bullied the defence into conceding the chance and then the key Bromsgrove striker headed over from close range. After Nat Gosnal-Tyler had forced a fumbled save from the home keeper with a fierce effort on 88 minutes Diamonds came close to the classic last minute winner. Nathan Hicks broke forward, fed Gosnal-Tyler perfectly and his cross towards Ben Farrell looked to produce a tap-in but was just a shade…. just… in front of the midfielder.

This was as far from the first game between the sides as you could expect but no less entertaining. A point and a 0-0 draw on the road against a free scoring top 2 side has to be seen as a good result but Diamonds really could have won this to sit that bit higher in the table.

Next up Diamonds take on a Peterborough Sports side on Boxing Day who leap frogged Bromsgrove into second place with an incredible 5-4 win against Barwell. Nailed on 0-0 again then!!

Man of the Match: Jesse Akubuine

Attendance: 871

Match Summary: Paul Judd

***Full report/line-ups/stats to follow***