Diamonds made it 10 goals in 2 games with this 3-0 victory against Eynesbury Rovers in the Harry Robinson Trophy on Thursday evening, the game played at Kempston Rovers. Ben Diamond opened the scoring late in the first half, impressive Trialist 4 added a second just a minute into the second half and Trialist 11 completed the scoring with 5 minutes remaining.
Liam Dolman made his first pre-season start along with Patrick Casey alongside Sam Warburton and Trialist 2 making his second appearance. Ben Heath was in goal. Matt Slinn slotted into midfield alongside Nat Gosnal-Tyler and Trialist 4 also making his second appearance. Tom Lorraine and Ben Diamond started upfront with Trialist 11 who had scored in the first game as Trialist 19.
Eynesbury were well organised and moved the ball well through midfield and up to their front three and made the first half an even contest. The grass had been left fairly long on the pitch and it made slick passing a little tricky but Diamonds grew into the game and moved the ball wide well and whipped in some dangerous crosses in the first 15 minutes.
The first real chance came on 19 minutes as Trialist 11 earned another free-kick fairly central this time and 25 yards out but Ben Diamond’s effort curled well over the bar. Tom Lorraine was full of energy and ran through onto an excellent through ball on 25 minutes seeing his dinked effort clear the keeper but just drift wide of the left hand post. On 32 minutes he latched onto another great ball slid into the left side of the box where he was forced wide but cut back to Nat Gosnal-Tyler who saw his goal bound effort just blocked out for a corner.
The goal had been coming and on 39 minutes another defence splitting pass saw Ben Diamond run into the left of the box and with the ball bobbling on the surface he showed real composure to calmly slot into the far corner.
Half-time: Eynesbury Rovers 0 AFC Rushden & Diamonds 1
The second half-started with a bang for Diamonds with a raiding move down the right just a minute in seeing a ball fizzed through 6 yard box for Trailist 4 to slide the ball home at the back post. Will Jones, Ryan Hughes and Alex Collard had come on as half-time substitutions for Liam Dolman, Nat Gosnal-Tyler and Trialist 11. Patrick Casey moved up into midfield.
Will Jones didn’t take long to make an impact collecting and turning well just inside the box to strike just wide on 50 minutes and 2 minutes later bursting past defenders again to strike just wide.
Tom Lorraine then came really close twice collecting in the 6 yard box and turning and stabbing at goal before he was able to chip the rebound back to the far post where it just evaded Will Jones. Jones then had a goal disallowed on 61 minutes as he slotted home an excellent Matt Slinn free-kick but was just flagged offside.
Four youngsters then joined the action – Bailey, Binder, Frazer and Nixon. They took time to get up to speed but were soon showing they belonged at this level with some great harrying, control and passing to get Diamonds onto the front foot.
Trialist 11 was re-introduced late on and notched his second goal in two games to complete the scoring. Will Jones was the provider winning the ball just inside the right side of the box but seeing the ball fall to the trialist who took a touch and struck firm and low past the keeper for 3-0.
Full-time: Eynesbury Rovers 0 AFC Rushden & Diamonds 3
This was another solid performance from across the Diamonds squad who had to work hard against a more challenging Eynesbury side. Ben Diamond and Tom Lorraine were particularly lively and sharp with the three Trialists playing well again. It was good to see Matt Slinn nicely composed in midfield and Nat Gosnal-Tyler whipping in those trademark crosses. Will Jones was impressive again as second half sub and the 4 youngsters didn’t look out of place and drove Diamonds forward in the later stages.
Diamonds “top the group” after 2 games in the competition having scored 10 goals and conceded just one. The game against Cambridge City on Saturday is most likely a rehearsal for the final which takes place back at Kempston on 17th July.
Match Report: Paul Judd
Reporters Man of the Match: Trialist 4