Redditch United 1 AFC Rushden & Diamonds 1

A late Ryan Dove strike earned a well deserved point for Diamonds in the 1-1 draw at Redditch United on Saturday afternoon. Diamonds had trailed from the 29th minute a tad against the run of play but a strong second half performance saw Ryan Dove grab his first for the club and Sam Johnson go very close to winning the game in added on time.

Just the one change for Diamonds with Alex Collard not available Zack Reynolds stepped up from the bench where Nathan Hicks returned to replace him. An even contest began to swing Diamonds way with Ryan Dove nearly turning in Zac Reynolds cut back, and Messiah McDonald seeing his close range effort blocked after good work from Gosnal-Tyler and Reynolds again. But it was Redditch who took the lead as Rhys Hilton cut inside into unexpected space in the box to fire low past Ben Heath. It was nearly 2 when Jack Ashton and Ben Heath got mixed up and allowed Connor Deards to nearly lob home. Ryan Dove had Diamonds best chance of the half just before the whistle firing in a fierce volley that the home keeper fingertipped wide.

Diamonds started the second half brightly and largely maintained attacking momentum throughout the half with Redditch still dangerous on the break. Ryan Dove came agonisingly close to flicking in Ben Acquaye’s cross, and the midfielder fired in two fierce shots from good positions that were blocked. Diamonds might have had a couple of penalties for handball and another for a challenge on Liam Dolman which bizarrely resulted in a free-kick against him and a subsequent booking.

The pressure was building and after one period of ping-pong in the box was cleared a second resulted in Ryan Dove striking superbly through a crowd of players and the keeper to bring Diamonds level. Diamonds sensed another dramatic late winner and came so close through Sam Johnson at the far post and a ball whipped through the box and just wide.

Diamonds move onto 13 points from 6 games which is a great return to take into FA Cup weekend next week.

Match Summary: Paul Judd

***Full report and Line-ups to follow***

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AFC Rushden & Diamonds

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