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Full Time

Match Report

Diamonds were consigned to defeat as their recent four game unbeaten run was ended by Royston on a rainy night at Hayden Road.

The visitors took the lead inside six minutes when Joshua Williams converted a low cross from the left, and then they doubled their lead soon afterwards when Isaac Galliford capitalised on a defensive mistake to run through and slotted home. Rushden got back into it through Jesse Akubuine as he too made the most of a Royston error to round the keeper and score, but they struggled to create many clear-cut chances thereafter before the half-time break.

The same story was evident in the second half, with the away side managing the game well and Diamonds struggling to find a spark. Substitute Tom Lorraine saw a header saved, but that was the closest they got to an equaliser before Royston substitute Brandon Adams sealed the victory in the dying moments with an acrobatic strike.

First half

Manager Peaks stuck with the same starting XI and substitutes that had secured a last-gasp victory over Hitchin on Saturday. Royston came into the match one point and two places above Rushden, were unbeaten in their last three matches and had won their previous two away games.

The rain had been falling heavily before kick-off, and it continued to come down as the match got underway. Both sides had barely had time to settle down before Royston forged ahead. Winger Isaac Galliford cleverly flicked the ball past Ben Garwood and sped down the left before playing a ball across the face of goal. Joshua Williams met it first time at the back post and had the easy task of tapping home past a stranded Dean Snedker.

Rushden had just started to regroup when the visitors doubled their advantage. A loose ball in midfield ran back to Garwood, but Isaac Galliford nipped in ahead of him to run through on goal and coolly slot it into the back of the net.

Royston, nicknamed The Crows, continued to dominate the early exchanges and almost added another in the 15th minute. Finlay Titchmarsh embarked on a powerful run down the right that took him past three Rushden players and into the area, but his goalbound effort was well blocked by a sliding Alex Collard for a corner.

From their first attack, Rushden found a way back into the contest. A move down the left looked like it had broken down as away captain Adam Murray stepped in and attempted to pass it back to keeper Joe Welch. However, the pass was short and Jesse Akubuine nipped in to round Welch and then roll it into the unguarded net to halve the deficit.

Chances were now starting to be created, with Welch making a save and Ravi Shamsi shooting across the face of goal at one end before Freddie Brown was denied by Snedker at the second attempt down the other end. Away man Harry Draper also looped a header over the bar, but there was no other action of note as the half-time whistle was blown.

Half time: AFC Rushden & Diamonds 1-2 Royston Town

Second half

The start of the second period was quite frantic, but without many moments of quality and threat to either keeper. Draper lobbed another header over for the visitors and Murray also headed over from a dangerous James Brighton corner when well placed. Diamonds continued to battle gamely and had some pressure, though they were marshalled by a strong and experienced away side.

Just after the hour mark Peaks made his first change as Tom Lorraine, searching for his 100th Diamonds goal, replaced the hardworking Will Jones. He gave the hosts a different type of focal point up front, and he was at the end of their best move of the half when patient build-up play led to an inswinging cross from the right. The striker did well to get ahead of his marker, but his flicked header went straight at Welch.

Joel Gyasi and Connor Furlong were soon introduced to try and bring more spark and creativity to the hosts but, despite a few forays forward and some dangerous crosses that required good goalkeeping from Welch, they weren’t able to make inroads. Instead, it was an away substitute who settled the match with minutes left. After he had dragged a shot wide moments earlier, Brandon Adams then latched onto a flick-on to chest, swivel and acrobatically strike in one motion that left Snedker with no chance.

Full time: AFC Rushden & Diamonds 1-3 Royston Town

Rushden were beaten by the better team on the night and could have few complaints about the end result. They did well to capitalise on a mistake to get back in the game and threaten a leveller on a couple of occasions, but they weren’t able to build a consistent period of pressure and threaten the Royston defence on a regular basis.

Peaks’ men have a free weekend due to Stratford Town’s continued involvement in the FA Cup, so attentions turn to the Southern League Challenge Cup First Round in their next match when they travel to Peterborough Sports on Tuesday 5 October, 7:45 pm kick-off.

Match report by Ollie Mortimer


Diamonds are quickly back in action at Hayden Road this Tuesday (28th) as they take on Royston Town in the Southern League Premier Division Central, 7:45 pm kick-off.

AFC Rushden & Diamonds

Rushden come into the contest on the back of four unbeaten games, with three of those victories. The latest success was in their last match on Saturday when they produced a brilliant turnaround to defeat Hitchin 2-1 courtesy of a last-minute towering header from Alex Collard. The game also featured recent signing Ravi Shamsi register his first goal for the club, and contributed to Diamonds moving up to 11th in the early league standings.

Royston Town

The visitors are based in Hertfordshire, and play their home games at Garden Walk. They are managed by Steve Castle, and their nickname is The Crows.

Royston were first formed in 1875, and have played in the Southern League Premier Central since they won the Division One Central title in 2016/17. For their full history, click here.

They currently sit 9th in the table, one point above Diamonds after playing the same amount of games. The Crows are unbeaten in their last three league matches, winning their last two on the road. To find out more about our opponents, head to their website.

Previous Meetings

The two sides have met six times before, with Royston winning three and drawing two of those encounters.

However, Diamonds won the most important match between the teams when they defeated the Hertfordshire side in the Division One Central Play-Off Semi-Final 2-1 at Garden Walk in April 2016. The memorable and dramatic clash will never be forgotten, with Jack Bowen and Liam Dolman seemingly putting the game out of reach of the ten-man Royston only for the hosts to get one back. Despite seven minutes of additional time though, the heroic Rushden held on to claim the victory.

The three matches at this level have resulted in one Royston win (2-1 at Garden Walk in 2018/19), and two draws at Hayden Road (0-0 in 2018/19 and 1-1 in 2019/20).

Ticket Information

You can buy your ticket in advance by visiting https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/afcrd or you can pay by card on the turnstile. Cash entry payments will not be permitted. Admission prices are as follows:

Adult: £11

Concession: £8

Under 16: £8

Under 8: FREE

Under 16 Members: FREE

How can I follow the match?

If you are unable to attend Saturday’s game, the Radio Diamonds team will be on hand to bring you live commentary from the match. You can find live text updates on the official club Twitter feed @AFCRD.

Be sure to watch the post-match interviews and highlights on AFCRDTV after the game and have a read of the match report.

Match Preview: Ollie Mortimer



DateTimeLeagueSeasonMatch DayAttendanceMan of the MatchCaptain
Tue, 28th Sep, 20217:45 pmSouthern League Premier Division Central2021/228293Jay WilliamsAlex Collard


ClubHalf TimeFull Time
Royston Town23



13Dean Snedker Goalkeeper
2Ben Garwood Defender 68'
3Samuel Warburton Defender
4Jay Williams Defender
12Patrick Casey Defender
6Alexander Collard Defender
7Jesse Akubuine Midfielder 22'
8Claudio Dias 17 Midfielder 68'
9Will Jones 15 Forward 60'
10Ravin Shamsi Forward
11Nathan Tshikuna 16 Midfielder 34'
5Liam Dolman Defender
14Fernando Bell-Toxtle Midfielder
15Tom Lorraine 9 Forward 60'
16Connor Furlong 11 Midfielder 74'
17Joel Gyasi 8 Midfielder 68'

Staff: Tim Dudding
Sports Therapist: Roisin O’Farrell
Manager: Andy Peaks
Assistant Manager: Neil Champelovier
Coach: Scott Carlin
Coach: Tom Chapman

Royston Town

1Joe Welch Goalkeeper
7Finlay Titchmarsh Defender
14James Brighton Defender
19Spyros Mentis Midfielder 63'
5Adam Murray Defender
20Daniel Newton Defender
17Joshua Williams 4 Forward 6'
2Ed Asafu-Adjaye Defender
8Harry Draper 10 Forward 68'
15Freddie Brown 9 Forward 25'
11Isaac Galliford Midfielder 12'
3Daniel Brathwaite Defender
9Brandon Adams 15 Forward 85'
10Matthew Bateman 8 Forward 68'
4Scott Bridges 17 Midfielder 75'
12Makai Murray Midfielder

Manager: Steve Castle
Assistant Manager: Chris Watters
Fitness Coach: Scott Taylor
Goalkeeper Coach: Jason Maguire
Club Sports Therapist: Amber Murray
Kit Manager: Tom Hanlon

Match Officials

RefereeAssistant Referee 1Assistant Referee 2
Gareth DavisEdgar BrownJack Weeks


Hayden Road
Hayden Road Sports Ground, Hayden Road, Rushden, Northamptonshire NN10 0HX