Off the back of a long trip to East Suffolk on Tuesday night it’s North Worcestershire for Diamonds on Saturday afternoon as they travel to Bromsgrove Sporting.
The Worcestershire side are very well supported and a strong away following is expected – 871 saw the 0-0 draw last season – so it is recommended fans purchase their on-line ticket as early as possible – details here.
UPDATE: Bromsgrove have advised that tickets have now sold out. The game is all ticket so if you don’t have a ticket please don’t travel.
Diamonds vs Bromsgrove
This is not an easy section to write. Despite the last contest between the sides finishing 0-0 at Bromsgrove the contest at Hayden Road brings a cold sweat. Bromsgrove ran amok in a second half that had seen Diamonds reduced to 9 men with the score at 3-2 through a second sending off. The first half had been all action ending 3-2 to an already impressive Bromsgrove who went on to inflict Diamonds biggest ever defeat – 8-2.
Bromsgrove were going really well in their first season at Step 3 sitting in 4th place on 57 points and looking good for the play-offs. Diamonds were down in 11th on 49 points but with two games in hand were still hopeful of getting into that play-off race and maybe taking on Sporting again to get revenge for the 8-2!!
Both sides have had solid starts to the season with just the one defeat between them – Bromsgrove going down at Rushall Olympic. They have a win each – Bromsgrove at Biggleswade and Diamonds at home to Hitchin – and each have drawn the other games.
Bromsgrove sit in 11th on 5 points just behind Diamonds who have 6 points in 9th but its fair to say Bromsgrove have had the tougher start. The teams they have played include 3 in the top 6 whereas the teams Diamonds have played are in the bottom 4.
Both sides went out of the FA Cup at the first time of asking and quite painfully. Diamonds lost dramatically 5-0 at home to Newark while Bromsgrove lost at home to local rivals Stratford Town.
Diamonds are unbeaten despite making like difficult in the two away games having a man sent off in both. The aim will certainly be to keep 11 on the pitch and to look to get a first win against Bromsgrove Sporting.
Can’t make the game?
Highlights and interviews will be available after the game at youtube.com/AFCRDTV
Match Preview: Paul Judd
Diamonds lost a very close contest at Bromsgrove Sporting on Saturday missing a number of chances in a pretty even game but being beaten by a 19th minute strike from Michael Taylor.
Manager Andy Peaks made a single change to his starting line-up with Matt Slinn coming in for Joel Gyasi in central midfield.
A very good looking pitch was impacted by a real downpour just before kick-off but it didn’t affect sides approach to the game. A fairly cautious start saw just a pair of half chances in the first 10 minutes to get the keepers involved. First a dangerous Chris Lait cross was well held by Richard Walton and then a Tom Lorraine shot from inside the box was well held by Daniel Platt.
Bromsgrove were the more incisive early on and created the opening goal in good style on 14 minutes. Chris Lait hit another dangerous cross-shot along the 6 yard line allowing the sliding Michael Taylor to prod home.
Zack Reynolds then had the first of three good first half chances for Diamonds that went astray as they responded well to going behind. Chris Wreh played the attacking full-back in but his shot flew over the bar.
Bromsgrove were a tad muted by Diamonds response but Chris Lait was always a threat and another good cross saw Jason Cowley glance his header just wide on 25 minutes.
The best Diamonds chance came on 29 minutes as Jesse Akubuine hit a fierce shot that home keeper Daniel Platt could only parry and Fernando Bell-Toxtle looked all on to score from the rebound but crashed his effort off the bar.
As Diamonds pressed they had another great chance on 36 minutes. The lively Luke Fairlamb broke clear of the Bromsgrove defence and hit a shot seemingly bound for the bottom corner but Daniel Platt at full stretch turned it wide.
Half-time: Bromsgrove Sporting 1 AFC Rushden & Diamonds 0
Luke Fairlamb carried on his lively attacking display in the second half with an early run and shot just wide of Platt’s goal.
In an even game Bromsgrove were always dangerous in the final third. Chris Lait caused mayhem in the Diamonds box on 53 minutes with a run and shot that was blocked with the follow-up from Charlie Dowd was deflected over.
Diamonds then created their own mayhem in the box on 57 minutes as the ball flew around before Luke Fairlamb struck but saw his effort deflected onto the top of the bar.
In a lively spell back came Bromsgrove on 60 minutes with their own close effort as Cowley drove to the edge of the box and struck his effort just wide from an acute angle. Just a minute later Diamonds probably had the best chance of the second half as Chris Wreh twisted into the box in a good position but struck straight at the excellent Daniel Platt.
Lorrell Smith and Prince Mutswunguma were then introduced to add energy to the attacking line-up and Smith very nearly got Diamonds back level. He turned superbly on the edge of the box on 82 minutes and hit an excellent shot that just scraped the far post.
Charlie Dowd had rattled an efffort off the outside of the post just a minute earlier as Bromsgrove looked to kill the game but Diamonds were looking the more likely to get the late goal.
Luke Fairlamb stayed dangerous to the end and saw a cross-shot well saved at the near post under pressure, and Jack Ashton so very nearly converted a 91st minute corner with a far post header but it flew just over.
Full-time: Bromsgrove Sporting 1 AFC Rushden & Diamonds 0
This first league defeat came in a competitive even game where Diamonds probably had more of the better chances. They conceded in a slow start to the game that will disappoint but the work done in the remaining 75 minutes deserved at least one goal. It wasn’t to be and contrasted with the 7-1 win against Hitchin when every chance was converted. One win, one defeat and three draws is a solid start but Diamonds will want to add to the win column again quickly to get momentum back into their season.
Diamonds have a free week before the visit of another fancied side Hednesford Town to Hayden Road next Saturday.
Match Report: Paul Judd
|Date||Time||League||Season||Attendance||All Ticket?||Man of the Match||Captain|
|Sat, 10th Oct, 2020||3:00 pm||Southern League Premier Central||2020/21||600||Yes, sell-out||Alex Collard||Tom Lorraine|
|The Victoria Ground|
|The Victoria Ground, Birmingham Road, Bromsgrove B61 0DR|
|Referee||Assistant Referee 1||Assistant Referee 2|
|Richard Watson||Ryan Price||Jonathan Price|