Diamonds fell to a second 2-1 defeat after taking the lead in a few days after another harsh penalty decision gave Hitchin Town the victory in a close contest on Tuesday night.
Diamonds were bright in the first half getting in behind their confident opposition more than they had done in previous games and took the lead on 36 minutes. Connor Furlong and Nathan Hicks combined to get Connor Tee free into the right side of the box where his fizzed-in cross was bundled into the net by a retreating defender under pressure from Jack Connor (goal awarded).
Hitchin responded within a minute as a shot across the rain soaked surface rebounded into the path of Stephen Cawley to stab home from close range.
Both sides had chances to open the scoring in the early stages with Jack Connor lifting a bouncing ball over the away keeper but just wide and turning on a loose ball in the box and seeing his excellent snapshot just saved by the Hitchin keeper.
Hitchin missed with a good shooting chance from inside the box and missed an open goal from 10 yards with just a Diamonds defender on the line.
Half-time: Diamonds 1 Hitchin Town 1
Despite starting the second half well Diamonds gradually surrendered the initiative and Hitchin started to largely dominate. The winning goal came from a harsh penalty award on 61 minutes as a free kick was fired into the wall and awarded as handball by the referee. Jack Morrell stepped up to convert.
Diamonds struggled to respond and were restricted to shots from distance by the impressive Nathan Hicks and when Miguel Ngwa tricked his way in behind the away keeper but saw his effort blocked by a retreating defender.
Final Score: Diamonds 1 Hitchin Town 2
A disappointing result for Diamonds after a decent first half in which they took the lead again. Hitchin improved in the 2nd half and probably deserved the win as Diamonds struggked but they were a tad lucky with the penalty decision.
Next up the trip to Alvechurch on Saturday.
Match Report: Paul Judd
Diamonds welcome Hitchin to Hayden Road on Tuesday (16 August, 7:45 pm kick-off) for their first midweek match of the 2022/23 Pitching In Southern League Premier Central.
Admission prices are as follows:
Under 21s: £6
Under 16s: £2
Tickets can be purchased in advance here. You can also pay at the turnstile by either cash or contactless payment.
They play at Top Field and finished 17th in the league last season. The Canaries are managed by Mark Burke and currently sit sixth having beaten Barwell before a goalless draw at home to Rushall Olympic.
To find out more about the club, visit their website here.
Season so far
Meetings between the clubs
Diamonds and Hitchin have faced each other on seven occasions, with Diamonds emerging victorious five times and two draws (Hitchin winning one on penalties).
The full list of results between the two sides is:
Diamonds 0-0 Hitchin (Hitchin won 4-3 on pens) – BigFreeBet.com Challenge Cup Third Round, 9th January 2018
Diamonds 2-1 Hitchin (Diamond, Bowen) – Southern League Premier Division Central, 13th November 2018
Hitchin 3-4 Diamonds (Diamond, Lorraine, Bowen, Johnson) – Southern League Premier Division Central, 5th January 2019
Hitchin 1-1 Diamonds (Ashton) – Southern League Premier Division Central, 16th September 2019
Diamonds 7-1 Hitchin (Wreh x4, Collard, Smith, Akubuine) – Southern League Premier Division Central, 29th September 2020
Diamonds 2-1 Hitchin (Shamsi, Collard) – Southern League Premier Division Central, 25th September 2021
Hitchin 1-2 Diamonds (Diamond, Deacon) – Southern League Premier Division Central, 4th December 2021
Can’t make the game?
Our Radio Diamonds team will be providing live commentary as the action unfolds – tune in at mixlr.com/radiodiamondsafc. Listeners will be able to message with their comments and thoughts on 07394 309591.
Match preview: Ollie Mortimer
|Date||Time||League||Season||Match Day||Attendance||Man of the Match||Captain|
|Tue, 16th Aug, 2022||7:45 pm||Southern League Premier Division Central||2022/23||3||361||Conor Tee||Nathan Hicks|
|Referee||Assistant Referee 1||Assistant Referee 2|
|Sam Wesson||Andrew Cuthbert||Thomas Burt|
|Hayden Road Sports Ground, Hayden Road, Rushden, Northamptonshire NN10 0HX|