Chasetown 2 AFC Rushden & Diamonds 1

Despite another good away performance Diamonds were beaten on their their travels again last night falling 2-1 to Chasetown in Staffordshire.

With Matt Finlay restored to the starting line-up along with Dan Quigley Diamonds dominated the opening stages with 6 corners won in the first 10 minutes including one from a Liam Dolman effort that was arrowing into the bottom corner until being just deflected wide.

It was the visitors who would take the lead though on 13 minutes as a free-kick from deep was arrowed in low and only flicked off a Diamonds defensive head to fall to out wide to unmarked Josh Ruff. He fired back across the 6 yard line for Ryan Winters to back heel cheekily into the net from close range.

Diamonds continued to broadly dominate possession probing in and around the box but a harrying Chasetwon midfield and defence denied them much in the way of genuine chances. Nabil Shariff had their best effort latching onto a half clearance, turning and hitting a first time effort from 18 yards that was just deflected wide. Jack Bowen very nearly converted another Shariff turn and shot that just evaded him.

Goal scorer Ryan Winter worked the front line well all night and created two good shooting chances for himself with firing just wide right on both occasions from just outside the box. Right on half time Dan Quigley had a great half-chance as yet another corner was half-cleared to him where he struck first time on the volley only to see his effort blocked near the line.

Diamonds noticeably upped the tempo early in the second half and got their reward on 51 minutes. Nabil Sharif chased between defenders to the corner of the box where the advancing keeper joined the challenge which was penalised for handball by the retreating defender. Nabil Sharif stepped to coolly slot home and bring Diamonds deservedly level.

After an initial surge by Chasetown produced their best period of the game testing the Diamonds defence for probably the first time Diamonds then had their best spell for a sparkling 15 minutes. Nabil Shariff got onto a great lobbed cross by Sam Brown flicking his header agonisingly wide, Shawn Richards ran at Chasetown beat his man and whipped in a dangerous cross just deflected again away from advancing Diamonds men, Richard Bunting produced a trademark dipping volley from the edge of the box that the home keeper just tipped over the bar, and Jack Bowen had probably the best chance played in superbly by Nabil Shariff he couldn’t get a controlled effort on what was a bouncing ball just 10 yards out.

What would be the winning goal came a bit against the run of play then on 75 as Chasetown saw a ball out defence flicked on from the centre of the field for Jack Langston to run into space to fire low and hard right into the bottom left corner giving Matt Finlay no chance.

Diamonds tried to respond again but some robust defending by hardworking Chasetown defence kept them at bay despite picking up a series of yellow cards in the game. Ben Ford came closest to an equaliser latching onto Nabil Shariff’s flick on but just firing wide.

This defeat in the penultimate away game of the season is the third in succession away from home but again felt harsh given what was another pretty decent performance. Still well in the play-off hunt Diamonds will be looking to convert more of the chances created at fellow play-off contenders Leek Town in Staffordshire next Saturday.

Man of the Match: Nabil Shariff

Attendance: 182

Match report by: Paul Judd

Chasetown FC

AFC Rushden & Diamonds

1.   Curtis Pond

2.   Liam Hunt

3.   Rhys Thompson

4.   Christopher Slater (C)

5.   Leon Mills

6.   Ryan Wynter

7.   Peter Till

8.   Jack Langston

9.   Mitchell Piggon

10. Joseph Thomas

11. Joshua Ruff


12. Michael Wright (for Thomas)

14. Jorna Moulton (for Till)

15. James Dance

16. Mathew Gardner

17. Ryan Ball (for Piggon)

17. Ben Heath

2.   Ben Ford

3.   Sam Brown

4.   Brad Harris

5.   Liam Dolman

6.   Richard Bunting (C)

7.   Shawn Richards

8.   Dan Quigley

9.   Jack Bowen

10. Nabil Shariff

11. Ollie Brown-Hill


12.  Taylor Orosz

13.  Ben Heath

14.  Fazel Koriya

15.  Tom Lorraine (for Richards 85)

16.  Ross Oulton (for Bunting 81)

Goals: Winter 13, Langston 75


Goals: Shariff 53 Pen

Yellow Card:  Thompson, Wynter, Till, Langston, Piggon, Thomas

Yellow Cards: Bunting, Bowen,

Red Cards:

 Red Cards:

Referee: Simon Brown

Assistants: Simon Langley, Peter Crown