NFA Hiller Cup : AFC Rushden & Diamonds 0 Brackley Town 2

Diamonds went out of the NFA Hiller Cup on Tuesday night beaten 2-0 by National League North side Brackley Town at Hayden Road.

Both sides fielded strong sides for this county cup tie and produced a competitive and entertaining game on a cool night. Ben Acquaye had the first effort of the game and it was a speculative one from near the touch line that briefly threatened. Ben Heath was then called into action as Brackley started to look dangerous in the final third tipping a Shep Murombedzi effort round the post. The opening goal came soon after on 13 minutes and had a bit of fortune about it. Ex Diamonds Luke Fairlamb whipped a cross in from the left that evaded everyone and found the bottom corner. There was little in the way of clear chances in the remainder in the first half bar some good shooting chances for Brackley  who passed and moved the ball well but didn’t really penetrate the Diamonds defence.

Brackley were really bright at the start of the second half with Tendai Daire seeing a good shot well saved and Mark Noon a close range effort cleared off the line. Lee Ndlovu was always a threat and saw a shot deflected wide and a dangerous ball in just cleared under pressure. Diamonds weathered the early second half storm and started to press for an equaliser. Ben Acquaye shot well on the turn and Diamonds best chance was just thwarted by a last ditch challenge on Ryan Dove as he looked to round the keeper and slot home. Brackley remained slick and dangerous on the break and after Fairlamb shot wide at the end of a good move the killer second goal arrived on 83 minutes. Matt Lowe broke deep into the Diamonds box and cut back to Lee Ndlovu to trickle the ball home.

Brackley showed good quality with their passing and movement but Diamonds defended really well and restricted the National League side to few chances. The goals both had a touch a fortune about them and will be considered soft ones to concede and Diamonds will also feel they had enough good possession in the final third to hurt Brackley but it wasn’t to be.

Next up a return to league action with a home game on Saturday against Lowestoft Town.

Man of the match:  Matthew Slinn

Attendance: 186

Match Report by Paul Judd

AFC Rushden & Diamonds

Brackley Town

13. Ben Heath

2.   Patrick Casey

3.   Sam Brown

4.   Jack Ashton

5.   Liam Dolman (C)

6.   Jesse Akubuine

7.   Ben Acquaye

8.   Matthew Slinn

9.   Tom Lorraine

10. Ryan Dove

11. Nathan Hicks



12. Rhys Kelly (for Ajubuine 85)

14. Nabil Shariff (for Dove 76)

17. Luke Munro

18. Jordan Macleod (for Lorrain 71)

19. Zack Reynolds

1.   Danny Lewis

2.   Ellis Myles

3.   Connor Franklin

4.   Mark Noon

5.   Thierry Audel

6.   Gareth Dean

7.   Luke Fairlamb

8.   James Armson

9.   Lee Ndlovu

10. Tendai Daire

11. Shep Murombedzi



12. Shane Byrne

13. Wes York (for Armson 60)

14. Matt Lowe (for Noon 81)

15. Glen Walker (for Audel 60)




Goals: Fairlamb (13), Ndlovu (83)

Yellow cards:

Yellow cards: Audel

Red cards:

Red cards:

Referee: Shaun Berry

Assistants: Corey Snuggs, Matt Lake




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