Kempston Rovers 0 AFC Rushden & Diamonds 2

Two late goals from trialist Ty Ward and Ben Diamond earned Diamonds a 2-0 win in their penultimate pre-season friendly, and allowed them to lift the Harry Robinson Trophy.

Kempston started brightly in a competitive game with Ben Farrell forced into a goal-line clearance after just 5 minutes. Diamonds came into the game off the back of good interplay between John Dean, Ben Farrell and Nathan Hicks. Farrell twice and Hicks had good shooting chances in the middle period of the half before Kempston finished strongly with two decent chances. Zack Reynolds was forced into a late interception for Diamonds on 36 minutes and a Kempston effort found the side netting from a tight angle on 39 minutes.

Trialist Ty Ward came on for Ben Clifton early in the second half for Diamonds and came close to opening the scoring on 64 minutes as his dangerous cross was deflected for a corner from which Ben Diamond tested the home keeper. More changes for Diamonds saw Ross Outlon, Shawn Richards, Blaize Punter and Sam Brown join the fray and it certainly energised Diamonds performance. Ben Farrell fired over after a John Dean break, and Shawn Richards had three efforts blocked after Ben Diamond had surged clear of the Kempston defence. The breakthrough finally came on 89 minutes as John Dean broke clear again and found Ty Ward on the far post to tap home. Just a minute later it was 2-0 as Ben Diamond found space in the centre of the field and fired home from just outside the area.

The strong finish allowed Diamonds take the game 2-0 and lift the Harry Robinson Trophy. The final pre-season game sees Diamonds visit Bishops Stortford on Saturday afternoon.

***Full report to follow****