A late Tom Lorraine goal saw Diamonds clinch the Harry Robinson Trophy at Kempston Rovers ground in a very competitive 1-0 victory over Cambridge City.
Diamonds won all 4 games in the competition including Cambridge twice scoring 14 goals conceding just one so will feel positive about the competition experience in pre-season.
Diamonds started with a trialist in goal but Ben Heath played the final half-hour. Trialist 2 (Ben Garwood who would later sign for the season) and Sam Warburton were either side of Liam Dolman and Alex Collard in an excellent back four. Matt Slinn and Fernando Bell-Toxtle held midfield with Joel Gyasi, Jesse Aqubuine and Nat Gosnal-Tyler in front of them and Tom Lorraine up front.
After a 3-0 defeat last week Cambridge largely dominated the opening half-hour with Diamonds a little off the pace. Chances were limited though by strong Diamonds defending and the closest City came was striking the post just before half-time.
Diamonds did have an effort cleared off the line on 15 minutes and improved as the half went on. Tom Lorraine really thought he’d scored on 32 minutes seeing his effort cleared off the line again and minutes later Sam Warburton was felled in the box but appeals were waved away. After Cambridge had hit the post on 38 minutes Nat Gosnal-Tyler fired in another vicious strike when well-placed but well over.
Half-time: Diamonds 0 Cambridge City 0
Tom Lorraine left the pitch with a knock just before half-time to allow Will Jones into the action and Jones had Diamonds best effort when he clipped the bar on 70 minutes after a fairly quiet spell in the game. Casey and Hughes had come on for Dolman and Warburton and Nat Gosnal-Tyler and Joel Gyasi also came off for Trialists with Ben Heath also replacing the Trialist keeper.
Tom Lorraine then returned to the action as Diamonds pressed for the winner with some dominant play with Trialist 14 coming close twice to breaking the deadlock. Cambridge hit the post for the second time on 80 minutes as they broke the Diamonds press.
Ironic then that it was a goal on the break for Diamonds that clinched the trophy. Tom Lorraine ran from virtually half-way with Cambridge claiming offside but he was waved on and coolly finished for the winner. There was just time for Tom Simmonds to come on for the hard-working Fernando Bell-Toxtle as Diamonds saw the game out.
Full-time: Diamonds 1 Cambridge City 0
A much more competitive game for Diamonds in sweltering conditions was won by Tom Lorraine returning to the action to show clinical finishing. The squad had another good workout and the shape of the side is starting to emerge with plenty of competition for places in the starting line-up.
Next up for Diamonds is the visit of a Northampton Town X1 led by Jon Brady on Wednesday evening.
Match Report: Paul Judd (with updates provided by Doug Palmer)
Reporters Man of the Match: Tom Lorraine