Huntingdon Town 1 – AFC Rushden & Diamonds 7

AFC Rushden & Diamonds made it 16 goals in two away games with a 7-1 win against Huntingdon Town on Saturday afternoon.

Huntingdon took a dramatic 1st minute lead with a fantastic volleyed finish by Ben Colmer from 10 yards. Diamonds levelled on 21 through former Huntingdon man Declan Rogers with a close range header from a Sam Brown cross. They took the lead in a pretty even first half on 35 minutes through Matt Gearing’s 4th penalty of the season. They got a vital early goal in the second half that pretty much killed the game as they had done at Desborough the previous week, Declan Rogers adding his second of the game with another close range header. They then added 4 goals in 6 magical minutes starting with Jack Ashton’s far post header from a deep corner on 68 which went in off Adam Confue (who has been credited with the goal). Second half sub Tom Lorraine added the 5th 3 minutes later with another header this time from a free-kick flicked on by Russ Dunkley. The 6th was the goal of the game just a minute later, an absolute screamer from Sam Brown into the roof of the net from 18 yards. Declan Rogers concluded the scoring and his hat trick sweeping home from 15 yards at the end of a great move on 74.

Manager Andy Peaks named an unchanged side for the second week including all three members of the Diamonds 100 appearance club Sam Brown, Matt Gearing and Brad Harris.

The game started in dramatic fashion with first Richard Bunting having a headed chance from Russ Dunkley’s good run and cross, and then Huntingdon taking the lead all in the first minute. Ben Colmer got ahead of his marker and volleyed superbly into the bottom corner from 10 yards from a hanging right wing cross.

The opening period was pretty even with both sides moving the ball well in blustery conditions as the home side looked to gain a 4th win against their visitors in two seasons.

Diamonds did press forward in measured fashion and created half-chances for Russ Dunkley just beaten to the ball by the palm of the Huntingdon keeper, Tommy Berwick denied at the end of a great interchange between Harris and Dunkley, and Matt Gearing after he had chased down a lost caused and attempted a chipped effort.

The equalizer came on 21 minutes and it was former Huntingdon skipper and still this seasons leading scorer for them Declan Rogers who powered home a firm header from 6 yards after a great cross from Sam Brown.

The game remained in the balance as Diamonds looked to impose themselves and Tommy Berwick had another good effort at the end of interplay between the impressive Dunkley and Rogers, his chip from 25 yards just clearing the bar.

The vital 2nd goal came on 35 minutes from the penalty spot. Tommy Berwick had surged onto Adam Confue’s lovely through ball and was brought down by the Huntingdon keeper who received a yellow card. Matt Gearing stepped up and fired high past the Huntingdon keeper flicking his fingertips but bursting the net in front of the delighted travelling fans. It was Gearings 4th successful penalty of the season and his 29th goal in his 102 appearances for the club.

The same player then won an incredible header against two much taller opponents on 43 minutes to threaten a second but the ball was well held on the line.

A half of pretty even possession ended with Diamonds leading 2-1 due in the main to their ability to fashion half-chances from good possession while Huntingdon moved the ball well but struggled in the final third.

Half-time: Huntingdon Town 1 – AFC Rushden & Diamonds 2

Diamonds pressed pretty constantly in the second half and set the tone early with Russ Dunkley having a flicked header from a 2nd minute corner that the keeper initially juggled.

Huntingdon were quick on the break at times and fashioned a good shooting chance for goal scorer Colmer who cut inside from the left wing and fired in a shot that Matt Finlay held comfortably.

But the 3rd goal Diamonds had threatened came on 52. Adam Confue’s shot was blocked with Russ Dunkley chasing the loose ball to the right of goal and chipping an excellent cross on the turn for Declan Rogers to nod home from just 3 yards.

Last week’s goal scoring hero Liam Dolman was again prominent at dead ball situations having a header from free-kick on 60 fly over the bar.

Tommy Berwick was again running at the Huntingdon defence chasing a deep clearance on 61 surging into the area and colliding with the Huntingdon keeper as he tried to round him….penalty appeals were turned down.

We then had one of those magical spells that mark out Diamonds season in many ways as they scored 4 goals in 6 minutes. First Jack Ashton got to a deep far post corner on 68 heading firmly home via Adam Confue’s leg for 4-1 – Confue has been credited with the goal. Then on 71 minutes in a planned move Matt Gearings free-kick to the near post was flicked on by Russ Dunkley for second half substitute Tom Lorraine to head home.

A minute later came the goal of the game. Sam Brown prominent in the final third all afternoon seized on a loose ball just inside the box and fired in an unstoppable volley into the roof of the net. His first of the season, and his first since the closing stages of Diamonds Division 1 promotion season warmly celebrated by all the players and the delighted travelling fans.

The goal scoring was completed on 74 with Declan Rogers sliding the ball under the Huntingdon keeper at the end of another sweeping move for his hat-trick against his former club.

After this breathless period which tested this match reporters note taking ability the game thankfully settled with occasional further chances for Diamonds. Jason Turner was lively after coming on as a substitute and fired in a superb volley on the stretch that that went just over, and Tom Lorraine whose initial effort was blocked chased the loose ball on the angle and slid it against agonisingly against the post.

There was also time for Elliott Lamb-Johnson to get minutes under his belt after recent back injury.

Final Score: Huntingdon Town 1 AFC Rushden & Diamonds 7

Diamonds gained their first win against Huntingdon in 4 attempts and kept up an incredible goal scoring season moving to 90 with 10 games to go. Manager Andy Peaks will be pleased with the unflustered response to the early setback and the clinical way they killed off the opposition in that magical 6 minute 2nd half period. Declan Rogers rightly took the plaudits after a superb hat-trick performance, but more goals from his defenders will please Peaks as his side look full of goals.

Next up a trip to Eynesbury next Saturday before a tasty looking the Knock-out Cup quarter-final at Yaxley.

Man of the Match: Declan Rogers

Attendance: 329

Match Report by Paul Judd

Huntingdon Town

AFC Rushden & Diamonds

1. Alex Brown

2. Liam Robinson

3. Michael Cafferkey

4. Andy Buckle

5. Arry Scarborough

6. Danny Barker

7. Levi Wright

8. Chris Jones

9. Isaak Bennett

10. Joe Bennett

11. Ben Colmer


12. Geo Malayncol (for Bennett)

14. Ian Edge

15. Neil Godhania

16. Sam Newman


17. Matt Finlay

2. Brad Harris

3. Sam Brown

4. Jack Ashton

5. Liam Dolman

6. Adam Confue

7. Matt Gearing

8. Richard Bunting

9. Russ Dunkley

10. Tommy Berwick

11. Declan Rogers


12. Tom Lorraine (for Berwick 66)

13. Rhys Redding

14. Elliot Lamb-Johnson (for Rogers 75)

15. Charlie Butt.

16. Jason Turner (for Dunkley 74) 

Colmer (1)

Goals: Rogers (21, 52, 74), Gearing Pen (35), Confue (68), Lorraine (71), Brown (72)

Yellow Cards: Brown (35), Jones (69)

Yellow Cards

Red Cards:

 Red Cards:

Referee: Robert Evans

Assistants: Gary Capps, Adrian Woollard



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