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Full Time

Match Report

Diamonds failed to break down ten-man Biggleswade in a scrappy encounter at Hayden Road.

The visitors threatened first when Joe Neal was played through on goal but denied, and home keeper Dean Snedker made another important save from Sam Squire’s effort following a long-throw. Though Rushden controlled most of the possession in the match, they struggled to create against a stoic Biggleswade rearguard. Nathan Tshikuna came close towards the end of the first half when his fizzing drive was well held.

Things opened up in the second half when the visitors were reduced to ten men. Robert Parker, who had been booked moments before, was shown a second yellow card for bringing down Connor Furlong. Diamonds tried to up the pressure as Alex Collard had a header saved and Ben Diamond glanced an effort off-target, but the Waders could have won it when substitute Magloire Muyembe’s strike was caught and a late deflected free-kick from Neal was also saved. The draw ends the hosts’ run of recent home defeats but leaves them winless in six league matches.

First half

Manager Peaks made just the solitary change to the side that had started the late defeat at home to Barwell on Tuesday evening. Nathan Tshikuna was brought in for Tom Lorraine which meant Ben Diamond began at centre forward. There was a place amongst the substitutes for new signing AJ George replacing Claudio Dias who had moved to Alvechurch.

Rushden came into the contest having lost three of their last four at home and having failed to emerge victorious in their last five league matches. Biggleswade sat 10th in the table but hadn’t won away from home so far this season and had lost their last four on the road without scoring.

The hosts started well with a series of neat passing exchanges and looked dangerous with balls in behind the away defence. Ben Diamond did well to flick a header onto Tshikuna for the creative midfielder to run into the area, but his pull-back was cleared away. The roles were reversed soon after when Tshikuna received a pass, jinked into space and curled an inviting delivery to the far post that the stretching Diamond just wasn’t able to reach. Alex Collard also met a Diamond cross, but his glancing header flew wide.

Biggleswade had the first clear opening when Diamonds lost the ball in midfield, and a quick pass released striker Joe Neal through on goal. His first touch took him into the area, but Dean Snedker was swift off his line to dive at the attacker’s feet and smother the effort. A few minutes later, they created the best chance of the game when a long-throw from the right was flicked on at the near post. It dropped for Sam Squire who was around 10 yards out on his own, and his snap-shot was parried away by Snedker. The rebound dropped for an away attacker, but a last-ditch challenge denied him.

Rushden dominated possession for much of the half and tended to keep the ball well, but much of it was in front of their opponents without much goal threat. Diamond almost got in behind on a couple of occasions only to be stopped by good defending, and Paddy Casey whipped in a dangerous cross that was cleared for a corner.

They forced away keeper Jake Alley into his first save when Ravi Shamsi cut in from the right before hitting a low strike from 25 yards out, and Tshikuna then jinked into space to strike from range that forced the keeper to make the catch above his head.

Half time: AFC Rushden & Diamonds 0-0 Biggleswade Town

Second half

The attendance was confirmed as 357 at the start of the second half and, like in the opening period, Diamonds looked to make an early inroad. Diamond looked like he was played through on goal by a clever ball over the top from Shamsi, but the offside flag was raised against the forward.

In the space of six minutes, Biggleswade then received three yellow cards. Firstly James Peters was cautioned for a sliding challenge on Connor Furlong, and then fellow midfielder Robert Parker received two yellow cards. The first one was for pulling back the advancing Jesse Akubuine, and he then stopped Furlong racing forward. Referee Martyn Fryer showed no hesitation in issuing a second yellow and then a red card to reduce the visitors to ten men.

Diamonds had just under half an hour to try and find a goal, and they began to have even more of the ball. Collard met a Shamsi free-kick to flick a header straight at Alley, and Diamond then met a good ball in from the overlapping Sam Warburton only for his glancing header to run away from goal. The pressure continued with a couple of corners, one which led to Tshikuna and Warburton having efforts charged down, but they were still struggling to break down a well-organised away defence.

In an attempt to break the deadlock, Lorraine was introduced for Tshikuna in the 75th minute. Soon afterwards, Will Jones was brought on for the busy Furlong, though it was Biggleswade who were to threaten. Substitute Magloire Muyembe intercepted a poor pass in midfield and ran forward, but his left-footed strike from outside the area was straight at Snedker. Ryan Hughes was booked for stopping a potential break-away from the visitors, and they also won a couple of set-pieces. One saw Neal line up a free-kick from distance, and his effort clipped off the wall only to be easily held by Snedker.

Rushden continued to work hard to try and find a late goal but, despite three minutes of additional time, a Collard header across goal that was cleared was the closest they came to snatching victory.

Full time: AFC Rushden & Diamonds 0-0 Biggleswade Town

Diamonds dominated the ball and had more pressure in the game, but they struggled to turn that into clear-cut opportunities and didn’t work the Biggleswade keeper too often. The visitors defended well and, though they only fashioned occasional attacks, they arguably had the best chances of the contest. The hosts defended strongly themselves as well, and the stalemate gives Rushden their first home clean sheet of the season.

They are soon back in league action as they travel to face Stratford Town on Tuesday evening (26th September), 7:45 pm kick-off.

Match report by Ollie Mortimer


Diamonds will be looking to end a winless stretch of home games with victory over Biggleswade Town on Saturday afternoon.

Diamonds are off the back of a gut-wrenching, ill-deserved late defeat to Barwell on Tuesday night and Biggleswade off the back of a 3-0 reverse at Needham Market.

Biggleswade Town

The Waders have been around since 1874 playing in Bedford leagues before joining the United Counties League in 1934. Through the Eastern Counties and South Midlands Leagues they arrived in the Southern Football League in 2009 and achieved promotion to Step 3 in 2013.

They reached the FA Cup First Round Proper in 2014, losing at Stourbridge.

Previous Games

The sides have met just three times in league action with The Waders winning twice at Langford Road and the only game at Hayden Road finishing in a dramatic 3-3 draw. After a goalless first half Diamonds fell 3-1 down with 10 minutes to go but two added time penalties by Ben Farrell earned a dramatic point.

The only other contest was in pre-season 2015 with Diamonds winning 2-0 with goals by Courtney Herbert and, of course, Tom Lorraine.

Recent Form

The sides have pretty similar records this season with Biggleswade turning one draw into a victory to have 2 extra points on 14 from 12 games. Both sides have 6 defeats with Diamonds sitting on 12 points from 12 games.

Biggleswade have some very odd form lately with three goalless defeats followed by back-to-back 7 goal wins, followed by 2 more goalless defeats. Away form has been a problem with no wins and the last 4 games ending in goalless defeats.

Diamonds have the more troublesome home form with 5 defeats and just 2 wins. Since the victory over Hitchin defeats to Royston, Alvechurch and Barwell surround a 1-1 draw against Rushall.

The Game

Both sides are struggling to establish consistent form and sit in a group of 10 teams in a similar lack of form who are separated by 3 points running from 19th (Stourbridge) to 10th (Biggleswade).

A Diamonds win is overdue and recent performance has most definitely deserved one. I suspect Andy Peaks would take a lucky win as Barwell did on Tuesday night but he takes immense pride in his team’s organisation, commitment and performance so will be motivating them to go out there and grab that win for him and the loyal fans on Saturday.

Radio Diamonds will be back in action with Twitter, interviews, highlights and match reports to look forward to.

Enjoy the game

Paul Judd

Radio Diamonds



DateTimeLeagueSeasonMatch DayAttendanceMan of the MatchCaptain
Sat, 23rd Oct, 20213:00 pmSouthern League Premier Division Central2021/2214357Sam WarburtonAlex Collard


ClubHalf TimeFull Time
Biggleswade Town00



13Dean Snedker Goalkeeper
2Patrick Casey Defender
3Samuel Warburton Defender
4Jesse Akubuine Midfielder 78'
5Ryan Hughes Defender 85'
6Alexander Collard Defender
7Nathan Tshikuna 15 Midfielder 74'
8Fernando Bell-Toxtle Midfielder
9Benjamin Diamond Forward
10Ravin Shamsi Forward
11Connor Furlong 16 Midfielder 81'
12Matthew Slinn Midfielder
14Adriel George Midfielder
15Tom Lorraine 7 Forward 74'
16Will Jones 11 Forward 81'
17Charlie Nixon Goalkeeper

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

Biggleswade Town

1Jake Alley Goalkeeper
2Joe Howe Defender
3Kane Farrell Defender
4James Peters Midfielder 57'
5Matthew Hall Defender
6Shane Bush Defender
7Ben Stevens 12 Midfielder 66'
8Robert Parker Midfielder 59', 62'
9Joe Neal Forward
10Sam Squire Midfielder
11Luca Cardines Midfielder
12Magloire Muyembe 7 Midfielder 66'
14Ronan Silva Midfielder
15Luca Purse Defender

Physio: Kate Simmonds
Player-Coach: Russell Short
Coach: Mick Hunter
Manager: Chris Nunn

Match Officials

RefereeAssistant Referee 1Assistant Referee 2
Martyn FryerPaul BuckTolu Sangowawa


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