Diamonds suffered a heavy defeat at table-toppers Coalville on a rainy Saturday afternoon.
After a good early chance had gone begging, the hosts took the lead when Thomas Mcglinchey struck home from the edge of the area after Diamonds could only partially clear. Though Coalville had the better of the half and created further chances, in particular Jake Eggleton having a shot deflected onto the post and Billy Kee having a low effort saved, Rushden could have levelled. Chris Wreh had a curling strike superbly saved, and then Alex Collard was only denied by a last-ditch challenge.
The home side started the second half strongly and, after Mcglinchey had hit the post, they doubled their lead when Tim Berridge turned home a low cross. The striker doubled his tally shortly afterwards when he powered into the area and flashed a strike inside the near post, and Luke Shaw made it four when he cut inside before whipping an effort inside the far post. Diamonds got a consolation goal when Ryan Hughes powerfully headed home a Luke Fairlamb free-kick, but that was as good as it got for the visitors as they fell to their second defeat of the season.
Peaks made just one change from the side that defeated Hednesford 2-1 at Hayden Road last Saturday. Jesse Akubuine was unavailable due to an ankle injury, and so Ross Oulton came into the side which saw the continuation of a 4-3-3 system.
Coalville came into the contest unbeaten so far in the league (winning four and drawing two), and they started this game strongly. After three minutes, Thomas Mcglinchey cut in from the right before curling an effort wide of the far post, and then Tim Berridge was fed through on goal only for the striker to shoot over the bar.
Diamonds threatened with a couple of forays forward, but the hosts continued to look the more likely. Defender Jake Eggleton placed a free header wide of the mark following a corner, but they didn’t have to wait much longer for the opening goal. A low ball in from the left was only partially cleared by the Rushden defence, and it ran for Thomas Mcglinchey on the edge of the area. His low strike saw Richard Walton get a strong palm to it, but he could it only deflect it into the roof of the net.
Two minutes later, Berridge was brought down by Alex Collard just outside the box which led to a yellow card for the Diamonds defender. The free-kick was deflected out for a corner, and the subsequent set-piece led to Eggleton having a deflected shot flick off the far post.
Rushden started to get more of a foothold in the contest after 25 minutes, and they came close to an equaliser. They won a free-kick which was played into the area and headed away, but it ricocheted out for Fernando Bell-Toxtle. He fizzed an effort towards goal, but it flashed narrowly wide of the post with home keeper Saul Deeney rooted to the spot.
They came even closer on the half-hour mark when Luke Fairlamb crossed in from the left, and it found Chris Wreh. Though he had little room in which to manoeuvre, he impudently curled a strike towards the far post with minimal backlift. It looked destined for the back of the net, but Deeney flung himself to his left to tip it away and to preserve Coalville’s lead.
The away response continued, and an Oulton free-kick from deep found Ryan Hughes in acres of space in the area. He knocked it down to Collard around six yards out, but home captain Stephen Towers slid in to nick the ball away for a corner.
Despite the Rushden pressure, the hosts ended the half strongly. A cross in from the left led to Walton initially spilling the ball, but he was able to grab it at the second attempt just as a Coalville man was closing in. The keeper then made a good save to deny Berridge as he ran through, and moments later Luke Shaw curled an effort narrowly wide of the upright after cutting in from the left.
Two minutes of additional time passed without any action, and the half ended with everything still to play for.
Half time: Coalville Town 1-0 AFC Rushden & Diamonds
Rushden briefly threatened at the start of the second period when Lorrell Smith had an effort blocked, but Coalville then started to dominate the rest of the half.
After Mcglinchey had hit the post and Billy Kee had just missed a Shaw cross, they did extend their advantage in the 52nd minute. Full-back Kian Taylor was found on the left, and he played an inviting ball across the area that Tim Berridge turned home clinically.
They sustained their pressure with a number of quick attacks, swift passes and runs in behind, and Diamonds just weren’t able to get on the ball for long periods. Mcglinchey and Shaw were denied by Walton, but the Rushden stopper was unable to stop a third goal going past him. Tim Berridge, who had scored a hat-trick against Diamonds in April 2019, added his second of this contest when he darted into the area before flashing a strike inside the near post.
Peaks responded by sending on Matt Slinn and Joel Gyasi for Tom Lorraine and Wreh, but it didn’t stem the home tide as they added a fourth in the 73rd minute. Luke Shaw ran down the left before cutting inside and curling a super strike into the far corner of the net.
Coalville naturally took their foot off the gas a little, and Diamonds were able to build some attacks. They pulled a goal back in the 80th minute when Fairlamb’s free-kick found Ryan Hughes, and his header flashed past Deeney and into the far corner of the net for the defender’s first competitive goal for Rushden.
Prince Mutswunguma came on for the goalscorer but, aside from a Gyasi free-kick that was blocked away, they weren’t able to create any further opportunities before the whistle sounded for the end of the game.
Full time: Coalville Town 4-1 AFC Rushden & Diamonds
Diamonds were simply beaten by the better side, and were unable to deal with a side that attacked with pace, kept the ball well and defended strongly. They weren’t able to build a sustained period of pressure, apart from a small spell midway through the first half, and faced a Coalville attack that were clinical when chances arose.
It’s a quick turnaround for Diamonds’ next league match which comes against Tamworth at Hayden Road on Tuesday (27th October), 7.45pm kick-off. Ticket information can be found here.
Diamonds Man of the Match: Fernando Bell-Toxtle
Match report by Ollie Mortimer
|Coalville Town||AFC Rushden & Diamonds|
|1. Saul Deeney |
2. Kalern Thomas
3. Kian Taylor
4. Jake Eggleton
5. Chris Henderson
6. Stephen Towers (C)
7. Luke Shaw
8. Joe Doyle-Charles
9. Tim Berridge
10. Billy Kee
11. Thomas Mcglinchey
12. Rhys Hoenes
14. Stuart Pierpoint
15. Connor Smith
16. Prnce Ogunmekan
18. Alexander Dean
|17. Richard Walton |
2. Zack Reynolds
3. Ryan Hughes
4. Patrick Casey
6. Alex Collard
7. Luke Fairlamb
8. Ross Oulton
9. Tom Lorraine (C)
10. Lorrell Smith
11. Chris Wreh
14. Fernando Bell-Toxtle
5. Liam Dolman
12. Matt Slinn
13. Ben Heath
15. Prince Mutswunguma
16. Joel Gyasi
Goals: Mcglinchey (18), Berridge (52, 61), Shaw (73)
|Goals: Hughes (80)|
|Yellow cards: Eggleton (25), Kee (36)|
Yellow cards: Collard (20), Bell-Toxtle (66)
|Referee: Reece Davies |
Assistants: Zachary Parris, Paul Buck