Beaconsfield SYCOB 4 – AFC Rushden & Diamonds 0

AFC Rushden & Diamonds suffered their biggest defeat of the season and the equal biggest in their history when going down 4-0 to an impressive Beaconsfield SYCOB at Holloways Park on Saturday afternoon.

Beaconsfield have won 9 times at home this season and started confidently against a strangely hesitant Diamonds side creating two good early chances before taking the lead in the 5th minute. Captain Lee Togwell who would go on to be the home sides man of the match with a downward header from a right wing corner from 6 yards. They would continue to threaten an unexpectedly porous Diamonds defence throughout the half but the away side did settle and create half chances for Hall, Stevenson and Lorraine. It was Matt Finlay who was Diamonds star performer though making two outstanding saves late in the half to keep his side in the game.

Any thoughts of a second half come back for Diamonds were snuffed out just 5 minutes in as the home side doubled their lead in bizarre circumstances. A poorly hit left-wing corner sliced of a Diamonds boot and beat a diving Matt Finlay at the near post. The hoped for reaction from usually good away performers Diamonds didn’t ever materialise and Beaconsfield pretty much dominated the rest of the game. They sliced through the Diamonds midfield at will and created numerous chances adding a third via a Callum Bunting header on 58 from a deep Lee Togwell cross that never looked like being closed down, and a superb Sam Deadfield strike from the edge of the box on 68 after Togwell again had been allowed to run at the Diamonds defence. It could have been more but for another brilliant Matt Finlay save at full stretch from Deadfield as Diamonds failed to lay a glove on their confident opponents throughout the second half despite 3 attacking substitutions.


The Diamonds starting eleven were unchanged from the side that had won so impressively at Aylesbury the previous week with just one change on the bench. Connor Kennedy returning after his suspension in place of Elliot Lamb-Johnson.

Diamonds started in strangely hesitant fashion against a confident quick breaking Beaconsfield side. The home side forced two good shooting chances in the opening minutes from quick passing breaks through midfield before taking the lead on 5 minutes after one of those shots was blocked for a corner. Captain Lee Togwell rising unmarked on the 6 yard line to head firmly downwards past Diamonds keeper Matt Finlay.

Diamonds were struggling to string passes together with midfield and forwards not connecting as confidently as they had been doing in recent games. One exception in the early stages saw the ball worked out to Andy Hall who saw and executed a superb curled cross in behind the Beaconsfield defence that just evaded Tom Lorraine.

Beaconsfield were moving the ball well and confidently over a pitch that had taken the recent poor weather well with the Diamonds usually impressive midfield being completely outplayed.

There was little in the way a clear chances in this period of the game but the greater danger was definitely coming from the home side.

Diamonds did improve around the half-hour mark and put some pressure on the home defence with Shawn Richards having a great run just stopped at the edge of the box, Tom Lorraine running into a great attacking position only to be harshly flagged for offside, and Jon Stevenson bringing down a brilliant Andy Hall deep pass over the Beaconsfield and just failing to get enough on an attempted lob.

There was a possible turning point in the momentum of the game on 27 as Tom Lorraine got in front of a retreating defender and onto a bouncing ball and appeared to be pulled back as he was trying to lob the advancing keeper. But after looking to his assistant referee Wick waved away the appeal for what could have been a crucial moment in the game.

Shawn Richards then found space just inside the box and could maybe have taken a shot from a good position but chose to pass to Andy Hall who was quickly closed down and unable to find the free Tom Lorraine. The decision making and inability to quite execute good passing in dangerous areas was a feature of the Diamonds performance on the day.

Beaconsfield had continued to look much more dangerous in the final third despite this limited Diamonds resurgence and did finally create two great chances in the final minutes of the half that could have put the game beyond the visitors. Quick passing down the left on 36 put Deadfield into space his quickly fired off effort saved well at the near post by Matt Finlay.

Then on 41 Beaconsfield cut through the Diamonds midfield to put Togwell away in the left hand side of the penalty area his firm low effort again stopped at the near post by the hard working Matt Finlay.

Half-time:  Beaconsfield SYCOB 1 – Rushden & Diamonds 0

Diamonds have put in strong second half performances a number of times this season but any thoughts of a fightback were dashed in disappointing fashion just 5 minutes into the half. A left-wing corner was poorly struck almost along the ground towards the near post where Richard Bunting sliced his attempted clearance and Matt Finlay was just unable to stop it creeping inside the near post.

Manager Andy Peaks soon made two substitutions to try and shake up his faltering side with Jack Ashton replacing Luke Hipwell and Claudiu Hoban replacing Andy Hall.

The defensive realignment really didn’t work for Diamonds as first Deadfield found space down the right to get a fierce shot in that Matt Finlay saved superbly at full stretch, and then the killer third goal came down the same side on 58. The impressive Lee Togwell picked up the ball out wide but was never really closed down by either Dolman or Ashton allowing him time to pick out a superb deep cross to Sam Bunting who had pulled off into space at the far post and headed coolly past Matt Finlay.

There was a heavily subdued atmosphere amongst the travelling faithful who were struggling to recall seeing their side in a similar position in contrast to the home support who were thoroughly enjoying a dominant performance by their side.

Further chances were being created by the home side at this stage as Diamonds failed to lay a glove on their opponents in the whole of the second half. Sam Deadfield was part of most of the home side’s good moves and had another clear shooting effort on 62 at the end of a great move putting his effort just over from 25 yards.

He wouldn’t be denied for long though and after the hard working Togwell had again run at the Diamonds defence on 68 without being closed down, the ball was played to Deadfield who made space and fired a beautiful firm bending shot into the top right hand corner for probably goal of the game.

The game was well and truly won and although Beaconsfield continued to dominate a beaten Diamonds side there was little in the way of action in the later stages of the game. Claudiu Hoban had a couple of pacey runs easily blocked by the home midfield, and one deep cross nearly found Jack Ashton in a rare foray into the Beaconsfield half, but the home side managed the game well to run out deserved 4-0 winners.

Final Score: Beaconsfield SYCOB 4 – AFC Rushden & Diamonds 0

This was a strangely muted performance by a Diamonds side that had been so impressive in the last few games. They were overrun at times by a confident impressive home side who showed why they have such a good home record. Manager Andy Peaks will know you don’t become a poor side overnight but will be scratching his head as to how Diamonds made so little impact on the game and weren’t able to lift performance at any stage.

They have the opportunity for a pressure free comeback in the Hiller Cup Semi-final against Brackley Town on Tuesday night at the Dog & Duck, before the return to league action against Ware also at the Dog & Duck next Saturday

Reporters Man of the Match: Matt Finlay

Attendance: 214

Match Report by Paul Judd


Beaconsfield SYCOB

AFC Rushden & Diamonds

1.   Sam Bunting

2.   Tom Gant

3.   Jordan Ford

4    Jack McKnight

5.   Guri Demuria

6.   Alex Murray

7.   Lee Togwell

8.   Aaron Minhas

9.   Callum Bunting

10. Sam Deadfield

11. Ashleigh Artwell


12. Aaron Berry

14. Tom Wohlfiel

15. Tope Fowudu (for Bunting 75)


17. Matt Finlay

2.   Ollie Wilkinson

3.   Luke Hipwell

4.   Delroy Gordon

5.   Liam Dolman

6.   Brad Harris

7.   Shawn Richards

8.   Richard Bunting

9.   Tom Lorraine

10. Jon Stevenson

11. Andy Hall


12.  Lewis Leslie (for Stevenson 67)

13.  Alex Vitue

14.  Jack Ashton (for Hipwell 53)

15.  Claudiu Hoban (for Hall 53)

16.  Connor Kennedy



Goals: Togwell (5), O.G (50), Bunting (58), Deadfield (68)


Yellow Cards:

Yellow Cards: Harris (56), Ashton (65), Leslie (90)

Red Cards:

 Red Cards:

Referee: Chris Wick

Assistants:  Reno Christodoulou, Grzegorz Kormasiewicz


 Updated player profiles with appearance and goalscoring details are now available.

Match Gallery courtesy of Malcolm Swinden Photography (click on the link to access the Diamonds Photo Gallery for more images from this game and ecommerce options). Copyright Mal Swinden ©2016


AFC Rushden & Diamonds

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