Diamonds began life under Andy Burgess’ interim role with a narrow victory over Hednesford Town at Hayden Road.
The first half was very tight with the visitors having more of the ball, but both sides struggled to create clear-cut opportunities. Away defender Harvey Portman had a header deflected narrowly wide, Riley O’Sullivan was denied by a good Dean Snedker save and George Cater drilled a strike over from range. In response Rushden striker Shane Bush had an effort on-the-turn blocked and Nathan Tshikuna’s inviting cross from the left narrowly missed Alex Collard at the back post.
Home full-back Sam Warburton almost struck within minutes of the second period, but his long-range attempt was tipped behind. Hednesford Town sub Chay Tilt was then released through on goal, but Snedker made a crucial stop to keep the score level. Rushden looked more dangerous when Will Jones and Jesse Akubuine were introduced, and the increased pressure led to the only goal of the match when captain Alex Collard powerfully headed home an inswinging corner. Paddy Casey vitally cleared off the line in the last minute, but Diamonds held on for a crucial win that consolidates fifth place in the table.
|Man of the Match
|Sat, 26th Feb, 2022
|Southern League Premier Division Central
|Assistant Referee 1
|Assistant Referee 2
|Hayden Road Sports Ground, Hayden Road, Rushden, Northamptonshire NN10 0HX