Diamonds hit Hitchin Town for 7 on Tuesday night to get a first win of an unbeaten start to the league season.
An incredible 4 first half goals in just 10 minutes from Man of the Match Chris Wreh and second half additions from Alex Collard, Lorrell Smith and Jesse Aqubuine won the day for Diamonds with the Hitchin response coming late in the first half.
Manager Andy Peaks made just the one change to his starting line-up that had earned a second half point against Barwell with Joel Gyasi coming in for Patrick Casey. It allowed Diamonds to play an attacking formation with Gyasi and Luke Fairlamb in wide midfield roles with Matt Slinn and Fernando Bell-Toxtle in centre midfield and Tom Lorraine and Chris Wreh up front. Richard Walton was in goal behind Zack Reynolds, Liam Dolman, Alex Collard and Jack Ashton.
The game was very open from the start with Hitchin lively in the final third in the opening stages and Diamonds breaking quickly with incisive passing. Luke Fairlamb fed a lovely ball through to Chris Wreh to run through on goal only to see the offside flag in a sign of things to come.
Then from the 10th minute to the 20th Diamonds and Chris Wreh notched an incredible 4 goals with some devastating attacking play and cool finishing. First a trademark Liam Dolman pass saw Wreh away where the striker turned and his man and placed the ball past the keeper. Just two minutes later a diagonal ball found Wreh again in space where he cut inside and again slotted coolly home.
There was time for a goal saving tackle by Alex Collard to prevent a certain looking Hitchin goal before Wreh struck again. Tom Lorraine was the provider this time laying the ball beautifully into the strikers path where he completed his hat-trick with ease in just the 17th minute. Incredibly he made it four in 10 minutes latching onto Tom Lorraine’s flick on of a long goal-kick, rounding the keeper an passing the ball into the net.
The 379 crowd were a little stunned after the big defeat at home to Newark in the FA Cup and hard fought draw against Barwell but delighted that Diamonds were doing what they do best. Solid set-up, patient passing and great through balls putting strikers into space along with devastating finishing.
Hitchin had been an attacking threat throughout in an open game and they got a deserved goal on 35 minutes as they finished the half well. Marsh finishing well from the edge of the box after Diamonds had worked hard to clear the initial danger. Liam Dolman cleared a header off the line, a striker ran clear through only to see his shot blocked and another shot wide from 25 yards as Hitchin felt they were still in the game.
Half-time: AFC Rushden & Diamonds 4 Hitchin Town 1
Diamonds knew they still had work to do and were reminded early in the second half as Richard Walton was forced into a good save and the resulting corner had to be cleared off the line.They did gradually push further forward as the second half went on and Alex Collard found himself with two chances to strike at goal from inside the box with his second blocked for a corner. The ball was swung in and Collard made no mistake with a towering header into the top corner on 69 minutes to absolutely clinch the result.
Lorrell Smith joined the fray soon after in place of four goal Chris Wreh and Ben Ford replaced the hard working Matt Slinn. And the 6th goal duly came on 77th minute thanks to great work from the excellent Fernando Bell-Toxtle who broke free passed to Lorrell Smith who finished neatly for his second Diamonds goal.
Tom Lorraine was still running at Hitchin and he got away into the channel in trademark fashion only to shoot just wide. Jesse Aqubuine then became the final substitution and he bagged Diamonds 7th in added time as Luke Fairlamb struck a great shot that was turned onto the post by the away keeper only to fall to Aqubuine for another neat Diamonds finish.
Full Time: AFC Rushden & Diamonds 7 Hitchin Town 1
This was a superb all round performance for Diamonds against a very good Hitchin side. The intensity was there from the start with some great passing in the final third and some clinical finishing. Chris Wreh scored four for the first time in his career in an amazing 10 minute burst and Diamonds controlled the second half to add three more.
The win puts Diamonds into 7th on 5 points one of 8 unbeaten sides. None have won all three games and none have more goals than Diamonds or a better goal difference. Next up are two away trips to Leiston next Tuesday and Bromsgrove Sporting a week on Saturday.
Match Report: Paul Judd
|Date||Time||League||Season||Attendance||COVID-19 Secure Capacity||All Ticket?||Man of the Match||Captain|
|September 29, 2020||7:45 pm||Southern League Premier Central||2020/21||379||450||Yes (season tickets are valid)||Chris Wreh||Liam Dolman|
|Hayden Road Sports Ground, Hayden Road, Rushden, Northamptonshire NN10 0HX|
|Referee||Assistant Referee 1||Assistant Referee 2|
|Elliot Kaye||David Jarrett||Richard Fullicks|