AFC Rushden & Diamonds recorded a 4-2 victory against Rothwell Corinthians at Sergeants Lawn on Saturday afternoon.
After going a goal behind after 51 seconds they quickly levelled through Deven Ellwood, and then second half goals from Jamie Gilsenan and a brace from Alfie Taylor made the game safe before a late second goal for the hosts.
Mark Starmer named what is now becoming a familiar line-up, and after impressive performances in midweek, youngsters Louis Smith and Ashley Foulger were once again on the bench.
On another pleasant afternoon the Diamonds kicked off, with the ball going out for a goal kick. The Corinths then quickly worked the ball forwards, with Joe Merrill and Séan McBride caught in two minds on how to deal with a bouncing ball, with a wayward header being worked to Andy White. who broke into the area and slotted past Shorunmu with only 51 seconds on the clock.
With some of the Diamonds fans still finding their positions on the perimeter of the neat ground, they were pleased to see their side was not phased by such an early setback, as they quickly set about finding an equaliser.
After 3 minutes good work from Taylor on the right saw him cross to Jack Wisniewski who saw his effort glance off the post. Deven Ellwood then attempted an overhead kick to a knock-down by Chris Hope from a Sam Brown throw that went narrowly wide.
After 7 minutes the Diamonds pressure paid off, with the confident Deven Ellwood heading home an excellent cross from Jack Wisniewski.
Chris Hope was dominating in the air at every dead-ball opportunity, but skied a shooting opportunity that came to him on his “wrong foot”. Deven Ellwood tried another overhead kick without success as the Diamonds dominated possession for the remainder of the half without being able to establish a lead.
Half-Time: Rothwell Corinthians 1 Rushden & Diamonds 1
The second half saw the Diamonds quickly re-establish their control of the game, with Jamie Gilsenan going close with a dipping shot when Deven Ellwood chested down a Merrill freekick into his path.
Seven minutes into the half the Diamonds took the lead, after Joe Merrill made amends for his earlier error with an excellent run and cross for Jamie Gilsenan to fire home in-off the post.
This goal was the signal for the Diamonds domination to settle the game, as within eight minutes they were 4-1 ahead, with Deven Ellwood creating two goals for Alfie Taylor as the strike partnership got to grips with the Corinths’ offside trap, the first seeing Ellwood and Wizniewski combine in the right channel before a cross from Ellwood presented Taylor with the simple goalscoring chance, and then Ellwood showed great ball control on the right to then knock the ball forwards into the path of Taylor who sidestepped the challenge of keeper Wilson before slotting into the far corner of the net.
With over 30 minutes of the game remaining there was perhaps an expectation of further Diamonds goals, but credit is due to the hosts who continued battling against a team that had been noted for scoring goals late into the second half. A number of substitutions also affected the rhythm of the game, with the Diamonds having to make two forced changes. Quincy Shorunmu made a diving stop just after the hour mark, injuring the shoulder that has been a regular problem for him, meaning that Ashley Foulger made his League Debut between the sticks. Aynsley McDonald had been playing with the injury that affected him in midweek, and he was replaced by Jake Gillingwater, who was also making his League debut for the club,
After 83 minutes the Diamonds defence will have been disappointed to be breached through the middle, as a ball forward from substitute Roberts eluded Gillingwater allowing Andy White to run in and score his second goal of the game.
There were no further scares for the Diamonds allowing them to seal their fifth win in a row, and preserve their unbeaten record as a professional club.
Full-Time: Rothwell Corinthians 2 Rushden & Diamonds 4
The Diamonds return to the Dog and Duck next weekend for a Les Underwood NFA Junior County Cup game against Wellingborough Whitworth, which will be a chance to blend some of the youth team players into the first-team environment while the number of players available are reduced.
Diamonds Man-of-the-Match: Deven Ellwood
AFC Rushden & Diamonds
1. Brad Wilson
2. Chris Torrence
3. Jason Singh
4. Tom Johnson
5. Luke Bewers
6. Phil Cox
7. Shaun Morris
8. Ben Johnson
9. Sam Johnson
10. Andy White
11. Luke Phillips
12. Dan Denton
14. Elliot Roberts (for Torrence 61)
15. Tom Judge
16. Chris Hutchinson (for Johnson 74)
17. Ian Hay (for Phillips 61)
17. Quincy Shorunmu
2. Joe Merrill
3. Sam Brown
4. Séan McBride
6. Aynsley McDonald
7. Jack Wisniewski
8. Jamie Gilsenan
9. Alfie Taylor
10. Deven Ellwood
11. Peter Okechukwu
12. Ben Morgan
13. Ashley Foulger (for Shorunmu 67)
14. George Cox
15. Louis Smith (for Gilsenan 87)
16. Jake Gillingwater (for McDonald 73)
Goals: Andy White (1/83)]
Goals: Deven Ellwood (7), Jamie Gilsenan (52), Alfie Taylor (55/60)
Cards : None
Cards : None
Referee: Capt Don Maclarty MBE BEM
Assistants: Raymond Mepsted, Gabriel Rabatin
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Images courtesy of Mal Swinden ©2012 Malcolm Swinden Photography
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