Match Report: Leiston FC 2-1 AFC Rushden & Diamonds

AFC Rushden & Diamonds made the long trip to Leiston where they unfortunately fell to a 2-1 defeat. Will Davies scored to give the hosts a first half lead, Nathan Tshikuna equalised on the hour mark but Adam Mills restored the lead and sealed the three points for the Suffolk side.


Andy Peaks made one change to the side which triumphed over Kettering Town a week ago with Nathan Tshikuna returning to the eleven in place of AJ George.

The Diamonds lined up in their common 4-2-3-1 formation; Dean Snedker featured in goal, Patrick Casey, Alex Collard, Ryan Hughes and Sam Warburton made up the back four. Fernando Bell-Toxtle partnered Matthew Slinn in midfield with Ben Diamond playing as the number ten. Ravi Shamsi and Nathan Tshikuna functioned on the wings with Ty Deacon up front.


The two sides made an energetic start to the match as they looked to take control of the game early on. Ben Diamond glanced a couple of headers off target for Diamonds with Joseph Marsden cutting inside and firing just over the bar for Leiston.

The hosts gained the upper hand and started to dominate proceedings – most notably with Marsden, threatening once again, whose shot from distance was superbly tipped over by Dean Snedker.

Leiston capitalised on their short period of dominance by opening the scoring. Sebastian Dunbar’s throw-in found Will Davies spinning in behind the Diamonds defence who knocked the ball past Snedker and into the net.

Diamonds responded well to the goal as they forged a handful of opportunities for a levelling goal. Nathan Tshikuna’s bending effort flashed agonisingly wide of the top corner before Ravi Shamsi fired over after a promising run.

Leiston came close to doubling their lead on the stroke of halftime. A well-crafted move found Adam Mills who rattled the crossbar with his driving effort.


There is no denying that there was a sense of disappointment amongst the Diamonds ranks having been behind at the interval. However, it must be said that Diamonds showed glimpses of promise going forward with the opportunities they created and this offered a flicker of hope going into the second half.


Leiston picked up where they left off and started the second period in a strong manner. Sebastian Dunbar, Oliver Saunders and Brendan Ocran all tested Dean Snedker but the Diamonds goalkeeper stood up to their efforts and kept the hosts at bay.

Diamonds weathered the storm and, arguably against the run of play, found a route back into the game. Alex Collard headed a corner delivery on for Ty Deacon whose close-range effort was saved but Nathan Tshikuna was on hand to turn in the equalising goal.

Unfortunately, Diamonds were not level for long. Finlay Barnes found Brendan Ocran who clipped the ball across for Adam Mills to fire home on the volley and restore Leiston’s lead.

Andy Peaks adjusted his formation to a 4-4-2 as Diamonds started to gain more territory in the match. The closest Diamonds came to scoring was when Alex Collard met a late free kick but saw his effort saved.

Despite a wave of late crosses into the box, Rushden were unable to truly threaten the Leiston goal and eventually ran out of time.


A disappointing result on the road for Diamonds but Leiston are no doubt a different proposition compared to recent years and will go on to beat a lot of teams this season.

Man of the Match: Ty Deacon

Attendance: 236

Match Report: Joseph McCormack