Daventry Town 1 AFC Rushden & Diamonds 2

Diamonds finished their pre-season campaign with a solid 2-1 victory against Aaron Parkinson’s very good Daventry Town side.

Diamonds old boy Adam Confue showed this was going to be a competitive workout with a first minute crunching challenge on Tom Lorraine but it was Lorraine who broke the deadlock on 9 minutes. Diamonds had been passing and moving with real purpose in the opening stages and they pressured the Daventry defence into a penalty area mistake which Lorraine pounced on to fire home.

Daventry bounced back on 15 minutes with a superb free-kick which deceived Ben Heath who could only get finger tips to it as it flew into the top left corner. They game became an even affair after that with Daventry forcing Diamonds into some strong defensive action but Diamonds were constantly quick and dangerous on the break. Tom Lorraine, Jack Ashton, Nathan Hicks and Nat Gosnal-Tyler all had good shooting chances set-up by good quick build-up play.

Diamonds took what would be the decisive lead early in the second half as they again started a half strongly and with purpose. The impressive Nat Gosnal-Tyler got away down the right and cut inside to set-up Declan Rogers who made space for a shot that was deflected for a corner. Rogers swung it in and Alex Collard powered a header home from 8 yards. Diamonds began to dominate and really should have added more goals through Ben Acquaye who broke clear into the box but couldn’t finish and Ryan Dove who couldn’t quite connect solidly with a good cross. Daventry rallied and Adam Confue had a couple of headed chances and another break deep into the box, and Ben Heath batted a decent close range effort away. Ben Acquaye then had a stinging effort tipped onto the bar, Ryan Dove tried a spectacular overhead kick at a cross just played in behind him, and Declan Rogers from fully 40 yards forced the home keeper into a finger tip save.

It finished 2-1 to Diamonds and for most of the game it felt like a really competitive game that both sides would have benefited from. Pretty much the whole squad had another good workout and the excitement builds for the starting league game next week at old friends Barwell FC.

Match Report : Paul Judd

Line-ups to follow