Newport Pagnell Town 1 AFC Rushden & Diamonds 2

A cold Tuesday night signalled the start of winter, as Diamonds travelled to Newport Pagnell to take on the Swans. An action packed first half saw Diamonds take the lead through Tom Lorraine after 8 minutes, before Newport equalised only 2 minutes later through Josh Crawley. The second half was far more lively, Diamonds pushing for a second but Newport defending well. Tom Lorraine doubled his tally after 89 minutes heading home a corner. Diamonds ran out 2-1 winners against a workmanlike Newport Pagnell side.

Diamonds lined up with a changed team. Matt Finlay started in goal, with  a back 4 of Joe Merrill, Arron Parkinson, Jack Ashton and Sam Brown. A central midfield pairing of Richard Bunting and Adam Confue started, with Fazel Koriya and Elliot Lamb-Johnson out wide. Jason Turner and Tom Lorraine started up front.

The game began with Newport kicking off, and the game took a slow start. It took 8 minutes for the game to awaken, a forward ball deep into the Newport half, into the path of Tom Lorraine who found himself just inside the penalty area but out wide, he dinked the ball over the Pagnell keeper to put Diamonds 1-0 into the lead.

Newport took retaliated immediately, a ball into space for Pagnell, knocked out wide to Josh Crawley who hit the ball hard into the net through the hands of Matt Finlay to equalise after 10 minutes, 1-1.

Diamonds were forced into a change, Richard Bunting leaving the field after 17 minutes with an injury, being replaced by Brad Harris.

Elliot Lamb-Johnson had a lot of space out wide in the first half, with lots of searching crosses into the box, but more action occurred on 22 minutes, a Tom Lorraine shot deflected high into the air, sending the keeper backpeddling, managing to claw the ball off the line.

Another scare for Newport on 31 minutes, another deflected shot creeping just on the wrong side of the post for a corner.

The Diamonds pressure continued, both teams breaking up each others attacks well, with space continuing to be exploited out wide. Diamonds made us of this, on 44 minutes Fazel Koriya had a half volley on the turn saved, before a minute later some fantastic work by Sam Brown down the left wing, beating two players and delivering a cross was spilled by the Newport keeper after a Confue shot but he redeemed himself by smothering the ball at the second time of asking.

Tom Lorraine was shown a yellow card on the stroke of half time for his involvement in a fracas.

Half time: Newport Pagnell 1-1 AFC Rushden and Diamonds

Diamonds resumed the second half, and Adam Confue was booked on the 56th minute for a lunging challenge. The combination of the cold and both teams happy to defend meant a drab next 25 minutes. Another injury for Diamonds, to Joe Merrill this time meant Matt Gearing came on after 86 minutes.

A lot of Diamonds pressure resulted in a corner kick on 89 minutes. The ball was delivered deep by Matt Gearing for Russ Dunkley to head the ball towards the goal, and Tom Lorraine was lurking on the line to nod the ball into the net making the score 2-1 to the Diamonds.

A frantic last few minutes of Diamonds pressure to see out the victory meaning Diamonds take home the 3 points.

Final score: Newport Pagnell 1-2 AFC Rushden and Diamonds.

The Diamonds will start their home league campaign on Saturday with the visit of Boston Town to the Dog & Duck – preview here.

Diamonds Man of the Match: Tom Lorraine

Attendance: 316

Match report by Adam Cockings



1.Josh McAdoo

2. Adam Pryke

3. Keith Williams

4. John Thorpe

5. Matt Brady

6. Sam Parrish

7. Jared Cunniff

8. Matt Broomes

9. Josh Crawley

10. Dom Lawless

11. Scott Mulkern


Dave Baker (for Broomes)

Tariq Kotey

Luca Seminerio


17. Matt Finlay

2. Joe Merrill

3. Sam Brown

4. Adam Confue

5. Arron Parkinson

6. Jack Ashton

7.  Elliot Lamb-Johnson

8.  Richard Bunting

9. Tom Lorraine

10. Jason Turner

11. Fazel Koriya


Matt Gearing (for Merrill 87)

Rhys Redding

Greg Ling

Brad Harris (for Bunting 18)

Russ Dunkley (for Turner 73)

Goals: Crawley (10)

Goals: Lorraine (8,89)

Yellow Cards:

Yellow Cards: Lorraine (45+1)

Confue (56)

Referee:David Jones

Assistants: Michael Chalkley, Mark Morton



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