Bromsgrove Sporting 1 AFC Rushden & Diamonds 0

Diamonds lost a very close contest at Bromsgrove Sporting on Saturday missing a number of chances in a pretty even game but being beaten by a 19th minute strike from Michael Taylor.

Manager Andy Peaks made a single change to his starting line-up with Matt Slinn coming in for Joel Gyasi in central midfield.

A very good looking pitch was impacted by a real downpour just before kick-off but it didn’t affect sides approach to the game. A fairly cautious start saw just a pair of half chances in the first 10 minutes to get the keepers involved. First a dangerous Chris Lait cross was well held by Richard Walton and then a Tom Lorraine shot from inside the box was well held by Daniel Platt.

Bromsrgrove were the more incisive early on and created the opening goal in good style on 14 minutes. Chris Lait hit another dangerous cross-shot along the 6 yard line allowing the sliding Michael Taylor to prod home.

Zack Reynolds then had the first of three good first half chances for Diamonds that went astray as they responded well to going behind. Chris Wreh played the attacking full-back in but his shot flew over the bar.

Bromsgrove were a tad muted by Diamonds response but Chris Lait was always a threat and another good cross saw Jason Cowley glance his header just wide on 25 minutes.

The best Diamonds chance came on 29 minutes as Jesse Akubuine hit a fierce shot that home keeper Daniel Platt could only parry and Fernando Bell-Toxtle looked all on to score from the rebound but crashed his effort off the bar.

As Diamonds pressed they had another great chance on 36 minutes. The lively Luke Fairlamb broke clear of the Bromsgrove defence and hit a shot seemingly bound for the bottom corner but Daniel Platt at full stretch turned it wide.

Half-time: Bromsgrove Sporting 1 AFC Rushden & Diamonds 0

Luke Fairlamb carried on his lively attacking display in the second half with an early run and shot just wide of Platt’s goal.

In an even game Bromsgrove were always dangerous in the final third. Chris Lait caused mayhem in the Diamonds box on 53 minutes with a run and shot that was blocked with the follow-up from Charlie Dowd was deflected over.

Diamonds then created their own mayhem in the box on 57 minutes as the ball flew around before Luke Fairlamb struck but saw his effort deflected onto the top of the bar.

In a lively spell back came Bromsgrove on 60 minutes with their own close effort as Cowley drove to the edge of the box and struck his effort just wide from an acute angle. Just a minute later Diamonds probably had the best chance of the second half as Chris Wreh twisted into the box in a good position but struck straight at the excellent Daniel Platt.

Lorrell Smith and Prince Mutswunguma were then introduced to add energy to the attacking line-up and Smith very nearly got Diamonds back level. He turned superbly on the edge of the box on 82 minutes and hit an excellent shot that just scraped the far post.

Charlie Dowd had rattled an efffort off the outside of the post just a minute earlier as Bromsgrove looked to kill the game but Diamonds were looking the more likely to get the late goal.

Luke Fairlamb stayed dangerous to the end and saw a cross-shot well saved at the near post under pressure, and Jack Ashton so very nearly converted a 91st minute cormer with a far post header but it flew just over.

Full-time: Bromsgrove Sporting 1 AFC Rushden & Diamonds 0

This first league defeat came in a competitive even game where Diamonds probably had more of the better chances. They conceeded in a slow start to the game that will disappoint but the work done in the remaining 75 minutes deserved at least one goal. It wasn’t to be and contrasted with the 7-1 win against Hitchin when every chance was converted. One win, one defeat and three draws is a solid start but Diamonds will want to add to the win column again quickly to get momentum back into their season.

Diamonds have a free week before the visit of another fancied side Hednesford Town to Hayden Road next Saturday.

Man of the match: Alex Collard

Attendance: 600 Sell-out

Match Report: Paul Judd

Bromsgrove SportingAFC Rushden & Diamonds
1. Daniel Platt
2. Joshua Ezewele
3. Jack Wilson
4. Nathan Hayward
5. Luke Ward
6. Leon Broadhurst (C)
7. Gift Mussa
8. Charlie Dowd
9. Jason Cowley
10. Michael Taylor
11. Christopher Lait
12. Liam Spink
14. Max Beardmore
15. Joshua Quaynor (for Dowd 87)
16. Vladimiro Pais (for Pais 72)
17. Courtney Richards
17. Richard Walton
2. Zack Reynolds
3. Patrick Casey
4. Jack Ashton
5. Fernando Bell-Toxtle
6. Alex Collard
7. Jesse Akubuine
8. Matthew Slinn
9. Tom Lorraine (C)
10. Luke Fairlamb
11. Chris Wreh
12. Ryan Hughes
14. Lorrell Smith (for Wreh 69)
15. Ross Oulton
16. Joel Gyasi (for Gyasi 87)
18. Prince Mutswunguma (for Slinn 78)
Goals: Taylor (14)Goals
Referee: Richard Watson
Assistant 1: Ryan Price
Assistant 2: Jonathan Price

AFC Rushden & Diamonds

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