Diamonds were held to a 1-1 draw in an entertaining encounter with Rushall Olympic on Tuesday evening.
Ravi Shamsi opened the scoring on 9 minutes after a great combination with Tom Lorraine. Rushall responded quickly with an excellent 12th minute finish by the impressive Rackeem Reid. Rushall went on to shade the first half in terms of chances with Dean Snedker on top form to deny them. Diamonds shaded the second half with Tom Lorraine, Will Jones and Ravi Shamsi in added time all coming close to winning it but Rushall spurned great chances too striking the bar on one occasion and seeing Dean Snedker make more great saves.
Manager Andy Peaks picked an unchanged lineup and saw Rushall start brightly and push his side back in the opening stages. Diamonds did break dangerously in what would be the pattern of the first half and got the vital first goal on 9 minutes. Ravi Shamsi picked the ball up just over halfway ran at Rushall and threaded a great ball out left to Tom Lorraine who was forced wide but pulled the ball back rather than shooting and Shamsi tapped home.
Rushall responded quickly through the already dangerous Rackeem Reid who latched onto a defence splitting pass and finished superbly under Dean Snedker.
Reid went on to terrorise the Diamonds defence as Rushall dominated possession. He hit the side netting in one dangerous move and set up Mitchell for a strike just over and Alex Moore for a curled effort that produced a stunning save by Dean Snedker.
Diamonds did threaten on the break with some incisive play that created shooting chances for Ravi Shamsi and Ryan Hughes.
Half-time: Diamonds 1 Rushall Olympic 1
Diamonds were quick out of the block in the second half pressing Rushall much better and struck the bar with a cross shot from Ravi Shamsi on 47 minutes. Rushall still played some excellent passing football and struck the bar themselves on 54 minutes through Owen Parry.
Diamonds were starting to create regular chances now and Tom Lorraine came close twice around the hour mark challenging the away keeper to a loose ball in the box when played through by Ravi Shamsi and striking a fierce volley just over from inside the box.
Two more chances came in quick succession with Ben Diamond and then Alex Collard seeing headers cleared off the line.
Will Jones came on and ran the Rushall back line ragged seeing a great chance from a superb Jesse Akubuine through ball impressively saved by Thomas Palmer in the away goal.
Rushall were still dangerous with their passing and movement and created good late chances which forced Dean Snedker into fantastic saves. The second saw him save low, then bounce up quickly to deny Rushall for what would have been a tap in.
There was still chance for maybe the best chance of the half as Ravi Shamsi brilliantly dived between defenders and struck really well towards the far corner only for Palmer to get a trailing hand to it to deny what looked like a certain winner.
Full-Time: Diamonds 1 Rushall Olympic 1
This was an entertaining, high quality attacking game that saw both keepers brilliantly keep the score down. Andy Peaks tweaked things at half-time that saw his side much more on the front foot against a good Rushall side and substitutions further energised the side. Any one of a number of late chances could have won the game but Dean Snedker also ensured Rushall didn’t nick it.
Next up is the visit of Alvechurch on Saturday afternoon.
Reporters Man of the Match: Dean Snedker
Match Report: Paul Judd
Diamonds play the first of four back-to-back home league games on Tuesday night with the visit of Rushall Olympic to Hayden Road.
Rushall Olympic FC
The earliest mentions of football in Rushall date back to 1893 and the team played in Cannock and Walsall and District leagues until disbanded just prior to WW2.
The club was re-formed in 1951 and a new ground was built in 1977 to allow Rushall to climb the non-league pyramid. Playing in West Midlands League and Midland Alliance before achieving Southern League and then Northern Premier League status before switching back to Southern League Premier Division Central.
Rushall have suffered a bit of a setback in the league after back-to-back wins had taken them into the top 5. Two draws and a defeat at home to Tamworth last time out see them in 8th still with a healthy 15 points from 8 games. Away form has been good though with 2 wins and a draw ironically 1-1 at Stourbridge last time on their travels.
Diamonds are on a run of just one defeat in 5 with 2 wins and 2 away draws taking them to 14th with 11 points from 9. 4 home games on the bounce will give hope of improving that average points per game but home form has been mixed with 3 defeats to sides in the top four and two dramatic late wins.
Rushden and Rushall have clashed on three occasions since AFC R&D won promotion to Step 3.
The Pics did the double over the Diamonds in the 2018/19 season (0-2 win at Hayden Road, 2-0 win at Dales Lane) with the singular meeting of the 2019/20 season ending in a 1-1 draw. Liam Dolman scored from a set-piece to put Diamonds ahead before Sam Whittall’s late first-half equaliser.
Andy Peaks felt there were positive signs in the performance at Stourbridge with a more dynamic defensive display and Ben Diamond starting to show his undoubted talent alongside Ravi Shamsi, Tom Lorraine and Connor Furlong.
Radio Diamonds have managed to keep broadcasting in difficult circumstances but with numbers boosted in this run of home games Twitter should be back to its best and Joseph should have some company.
The 3 for 2 offer published recently is perfect for this run of games but if you can’t make it, or even if you can, tune in to Radio Diamonds, follow Twitter and look out for interviews, highlights and your match report.
Enjoy the game
|Date||Time||League||Season||Match Day||Attendance||Man of the Match||Captain|
|Tue, 12th Oct, 2021||7:45 pm||Southern League Premier Division Central||2021/22||11||250||Ravi Shamsi||Alex Collard|
|Club||1st Half||2nd Half||Full Time|
|Referee||Assistant Referee 1||Assistant Referee 2|
|Richard Eley||John Stevens||Jack Hobbs|
|Hayden Road Sports Ground, Hayden Road, Rushden, Northamptonshire NN10 0HX|