AFC Rushden & Diamonds came up against a well drilled Whitworths team tonight in their second ever match.
On a clear summers evening and spurred on by a crowd of around 300, AFC R&D started the game brightly with a couple of early forays deep into Whitworths territory, but as the first half wore on the hosts seemed to wrestle control of proceedings and made the breakthrough which their pressure deserved on 26 minutes, when a wonder strike from around 25 yards found the back of the Diamonds net via the underside of the crossbar. Another somewhat scrappier Whitworths goal followed just before half time and as the teams left the field to warm applause, even the most ardent Rushden fan would have admitted that the scoreline was a fair reflection of the first period.
Half Time: Wellingborough Whitworths 2 AFC R&D 0
The second half was a much more even affair and despite a couple of early scares AFC R&D enjoyed long periods of posession and strung together some excellent attacking moves, almost pulling a goal back in the 70th minute when an effort which looked destined for the back of the net edged just past the post. Diamonds had further opportunities to reduce their deficit, most notably from an inswinging free kick, but failed to capitalise upon these and with the very last kick of the game, Whitworths were able to add to their total. Following a quickly taken short corner, a cross-cum-shot was drilled hard across the Diamonds area, flying over the heads of all those waiting in the box and past the outstretched arm of the goalkeeper.
Full Time: Wellingborough Whitworths 3 AFC R&D 0
Whilst Diamonds fans will not be overjoyed with tonight’s final scoreline, there were certainly a number of positives to take out their team’s performance. Many commented on some excellent inter-play in midfield and the game gave manager Mark Starmer further oppportunity to try out further new players and ideas. Diamonds next game is the eagerly anticipated Dale Roberts Memorial Cup, which takes place at Kiln Park, Raunds this Sunday – doors open 10:30am.
Note: As The Diamonds are waiting for their brand new kits to be ready, and since Whitworths play in white shirts and blue shorts, the AFC R&D team wore a red and black strip donated by Nuneaton Town FC for tonight’s game. AFC R&D would like to express their sincere gratitude to Nuneaton Town for donating this kit.
Images Courtesy of Mal Swinden
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