Hitchin Town 1 AFC Rushden & Diamonds 1

Diamonds were held to a third consecutive 1-1 draw at Hitchin on Monday night thanks to an 88th minute penalty for the home side.

Diamonds started brightly in this unusual Monday evening fixture with Ben Acquaye going close twice in the first 10 minutes firing in good efforts that tested the home keeper. But in a half of few chances with Diamonds broadly shading possession Sam Brown tried a curler from the edge of the box and Alex Collard brought a great save from the home keeper who tipped his close range header just over.

Diamonds started the second half equally brightly with Massiah Mcdonald surging clear just 2 minutes in but he was unable to beat the keeper one on one with a dinked effort. Jack Ashton then controlled and volleyed wide after a long throw before Diamonds and Ashton finally got their reward on 67 minutes. A Ben Acquaye corner fell right to the far side and was played back in for Jack Ashton to powerfully head home from close range.

Diamonds were really dominating at this stage and should have made it two on 75 minutes as Nathan Hicks broke clear, rolled the ball back to Ryan Dove who slammed his effort towards goal but the home keeper somehow blocked it away. And they were punished 2 minutes from time. With the game strongly in Diamonds control an underhit backpass put Ben Heath in trouble and he clashed with the onrushing striker and a penalty was given. Having missed two penalties in a weekend 0-0 draw Hitchin made no mistake this time with a fierce effort earning them a point.

It was such a shame as Diamonds had worked hard to get control of the game and get that first win in three in the league but a slight lapse cost them at the death. They have no game this coming weekend and return to action at Hednesford Town on 28th September.

Match Summary: Paul Judd

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