Diamonds claimed a pivotal victory over fellow play-off chasers Alvechurch at Lye Meadow on Saturday afternoon.
They made the perfect start inside two minutes when Liam Dolman poked home from close-range, and they almost doubled the advantage straight away only for AJ George’s pass to be intercepted after rounding the keeper. Recent home signing Ryan Nesbitt had a near-post shot blocked away before he levelled after heading home a left-wing cross. Rushden quickly retook the lead though when Ty Deacon latched onto a poor pass before running clear and clinically dinking into the back of the net. Alex Collard and Dolman headed over while Dean Snedker produced a superb fingertip save to deny Daniel Waldron and preserve Diamonds’ lead.
Alvechurch pressed for an equaliser in the second period, but they were met by a stoic Rushden defence. Nesbitt ran through only to be crucially denied by a sprawling Snedker, and the away keeper made further important stops from Tom Turton, Nicholas Clayton-Phillips and Zak Brown. Diamonds looked a constant threat on the counter-attack as Deacon had a clever overhead kick held, George hit a bobbling low strike narrowly wide and Nathan Tshikuna saw a long-range shot tipped wide. The visitors made a number of crucial headers, interceptions and clearances to ensure that their first-half strikes were enough to secure the win and move only two points away from the top five with games in hand.
Full match report to follow…
Diamonds travel to play-off rivals Alvechurch on Saturday afternoon looking to build on a professional performance in the win against Needham Market on Tuesday night.
A difficult pitch on a cold night saw Diamonds comfortably contain a good passing side and they were clinical with the chances created. Alex Collard with a goal, and an assist for a superb Ty Deacon finish saw Diamonds home and up to 6th in the league.
Those lofty heights seemed far away when Alvechurch won at Hayden Road in October and Barwell repeated the trick 3 days later. That was probably Diamonds low point of the season but an incredible 9 wins in 12 games have really turned Diamonds season round and got them right into play-off contention.
Alvechurch have been in the top 8 for some time after a slow start to the season and were up in 4th before the turn of the year saw three defeats in 4. An excellent victory at local rivals Bromsgrove last time out has them back on track and sets up Saturday’s game nicely as 5th vs 6th.
Diamonds have fared well at Alvechurch in the two encounters at this level with a 0-0 draw and a late come-from-behind 2-1 win. The 0-0 draw was most remembered for Duane Darby’s appearance on Radio Diamonds as a second half summariser. A magical moment for our media team.
This game is probably as eagerly awaited as the trip to Banbury but for different reasons. Both sides will be looking to stamp their claim on a play-off place with victory… so nailed on a draw!!
A large travelling support heading to Worcestershire as they did to Banbury would really help the team. Tickets can be bought in advance or cash paid at the turnstiles. But if you can’t make it Radio Diamonds will be covering the game as usual and it would be great to match the 70-plus listeners that tuned in to the Banbury coverage.
Enjoy the game.
We have been informed that there is a cash only turnstile on the day of the game. No cards are accepted at the turnstile.
|Date||Time||League||Season||Match Day||Attendance||Man of the Match||Captain|
|Sat, 22nd Jan, 2022||3:00 pm||Southern League Premier Division Central||2021/22||27||314||Patrick Casey||Alex Collard|
|Referee||Assistant Referee 1||Assistant Referee 2|
|Neil Pratt||Michael Wright||James Green|
|53 Redditch Road, Alvechurch, Worcestershire B48 7RS|