Oadby Town 2 – AFC Rushden & Diamonds 0

AFC Rushden & Diamonds suffered a major setback to their title hopes on Saturday afternoon with a 2-0 defeat at Oadby Town. They have not returned from Leicestershire with as much as a point on 3 visits now and suffered a 2 goal deficit for the first time in UCL Prem action.

Although Diamonds created enough half-chances and good positions to have got the vital first goal on a really heavy bobbly pitch, they couldn’t match their opponents hard working harrying and closing down and struggled to retain possession and find each other effectively in the final third. Tom Lorraine nearly seized on a defensive mistake on just 2 minutes after a Neil King through ball, Adam Confue had a shot from 10 yards brilliantly blocked in the first half after panic in the Oadby defence but they didn’t really come close to a first half break through.

Rogers had a volley chance from 25 yards after Tom Lorraine closed own a defender early in the second half, Neil King had a shot from 25 yards deflected for a corner and Jack Ashton got to another corner but could only volley over.

The Oadby threat increased as the game went on, especially from Oliver Brown-Hill and Kurtis Revan when they got the ball down and passed it. And it was Revan who would get the vital first goal on 82 minutes after a quick break with a large hint of offside saw Diamonds stretched, and when Revan was found in space on the right hand side of the box he finished well in front of the delighted home fans. Diamonds were unable to mount a serious comeback and Oadby thrived on the atmosphere and great work from the impressive Brown-Hill was finished by equally hardworking and combative Samuel Taylor from close range on 87 to clinch the result.

 

After a busy week of transfer activity manager Andy Peaks put two of his new signings straight into his starting line-up. Goal scoring midfielder Declan Rogers came in on the left wing in place of Fazel Koriya, and former Bedford playmaker Neil King came into central midfield alongside Adam Confue allowing Brad Harris to move across to right-back with Charlie Butt dropping to the bench. Scott Joseph and Tom Lorraine continued up front.

On a very heavy bobbly pitch where first time passing was problematic Oadby were energetic in closing down Diamonds players and denying space right from the start. Diamonds did dominate possession but didn’t match their opponents work-rate and struggled to put any passages of play together and create any meaningful chances .

Tom Lorraine did come close to pouncing on an Oadby mistake on 2 minutes as a Neil King through ball wasn’t dealt with but as he ran in onto the loose ball in the box a last ditch challenge denied him the chance to shoot.

Jack Ashton saved Diamonds just 3 minutes later as a ball over the top found Brown-Hill in space but a trademark sliding challenge saved the day.

There was limited goal mouth action for Diamonds throughout the half as moves broke down on poor passing and excellent physical defending by Oadby. Tom Lorraine did seize on a loose ball on 10 minutes and fire wide from 25 yards and Scott Joseph broke the off-side trap on 23 and set-up Declan Rogers for his first meaningful action when firing in a dangerous cross that Oadby scrambled clear.

Oadby were more direct going forward and getting Oliver Brown-Hill on the ball to trouble the Diamonds back four. He worked a great shooting opportunity on 15 minutes which tested Matt Finlay in the Diamonds goal saving low at the far post, and he chased down Jack Ashton in the corner to create a chance from a narrow angle which was deflected into the side netting.

Callum Earls picked up the games first yellow card for a poor challenge on Eliot Lamb-Johnson on 37 minutes and from the resulting free-kick Rogers curled in a low shot which Oadby keeper Eliot Taylor gathered at the second attempt.

Diamonds best chance of the half came on 40 minutes when good work from Rogers and Lamb-Johnson created panic in the Oadby area, the ball finally breaking to Adam Confue who took a touch 10 yards out and saw his resultant low drive brilliantly blocked by an Oadby defender.

There was just time for Liam Dolman to pick-up a yellow card for bringing down Brown-Hill who was on a charge towards the Diamonds box but his fall was somewhat dramatic. Callum Earls fired in an excellent effort from 30 yards which Finlay just tipped over the bar.

Half-time: Oadby Town 0 AFC Rushden & Diamonds 0

The second half followed a similar pattern with neither side able to string periods of possession together to fashion that killer chance. Sam Brown and Declan Rogers combined well on the left hand side on 47 minutes before Brown’s cross was part cleared back in his direction only for him and the challenging defender to clash heads just outside the box.

Kurtis Revan was growing in confidence for Oadby and starting to run at the Diamonds defence, cutting inside Sam Brown at the end of one run on 52 minutes forcing a challenge from the Diamonds full back in the area that drew shouts for a penalty from the home crowd.

Tom Lorraine again won a loose ball  2 minutes later in midfield and fed Rogers whose firm shot was blocked into the path of Elliot Lamb-Johnson who couldn’t quite get his own shot away.

There was little quality on display in this period of the game and the home side were clearly growing in belief that it could be their day against a stuttering Diamonds side. Jake Brown and Mason Hurst had been more prominent in their tackling and closing down in the first half, but were starting to dominate midfield and to drive Oadby forward. Brown was just denied by a last ditch challenge by Jack Ashton as he burst into the area at the end of a good run, and put a great ball into the box that agonisingly evaded everyone when any touch would have found the net.

Jason Turner replaced Scott Joseph for Diamonds on 67 minutes with little change to the pattern of play and Diamonds were starting to appear stretched. Adam Confue and Jack Ashton were given yellow cards for desperate challenges in the 69th and 71st minutes, and Samuel Taylor finally got his yellow card on 80 minutes.

There was a feeling it was going to take a mistake for either side to clinch the game given the lack of creativity on display, and ironically it looked like it was one of the assistant referee’s who provided it on 82 minutes. Appearing to be well behind play he allowed Brown-Hill to run clear on the left-hand side and he found Revan in plenty of space on the right hand side of the box and he finished superbly in front of the delighted home fans.

There was disappointingly no meaningful response from league leaders and Oadby looked nailed on to get a second clinching goal which they duly did on 87 minutes. Brown-Hill was superb again driving into the area and right to the by-line before cutting the ball back for hardworking Samuel Taylor to sweep home.

Final Score: Oadby Town 2 AFC Rushden & Diamonds 0

A very disappointing performance by the league leaders against a young hardworking Oadby side with some really talented players who appeared to have more passion for the game in difficult conditions. New signings Rogers and King failed to really shine for Diamonds and there was an apparent lack of urgency about the side throughout the afternoon. They did create enough half-chances and decent positions to have got the vital first goal, but it wasn’t to be and they were undone by a quick break that probably should have been flagged offside, but Oadby deserved their win for the way they worked hard enough to allow the talent of players Brown-Hill and Revan to eventually shine.

Next up for Diamonds back to back home games against Harborough on Tuesday and Sleaford next Saturday before the big trip to Holbeach.

Reporters Man of the Match: Jack Ashton (with very few to choose from)

Attendance: 389

Match Report by Paul Judd

 

AFC Rushden & Diamonds

Oadby Town

17. Matt Finlay

2.   Brad Harris

3.   Sam Brown

4.   Neil King

5.   Jack Ashton

6.   Liam Dolman

7.   Elliott Lamb-Johnson

8.   Adam Confue

9.   Tom Lorraine

10. Scott Joseph

11. Declan Rogers

Subs

12. Charlie Butt

13. Rhys Redding

14. Jason Turner (for Joseph 67)

15. Arron Parkinson

16. Matt Gearing (for King 84)

1.   Elliot Taylor

2.   Spencer Edwards

3.   Callum Earls

4.   Colum Nugent

5.   Andreas Pepetsios

6.   Mason Hurst

7.   Jake Brown

8.   Eliot Putnam

9.   Samuel Taylor

10. Oliver Brown-Hill

11. Kurtis Revan

Subs

12. Joe French

14. Luke Dalby

15. Kieran Nugent

16. Jurelle Philips

17. Jack Pritchard

Goals:

Goals: Revan (82), Taylor S (87)

Yellow Cards: Dolman (43), Confue (69), Ashton (71)

Yellow Cards: Earls (37), Taylor (80)

Red Cards:

 Red Cards:

Referee: Wayne Bright

Assistants: Mark Connelly, Simon Fradley

 

 

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AFC Rushden & Diamonds

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