Re-arranged match from 27th November 2021.
Diamonds got back to winning ways on Tuesday night with a solid 2-0 victory over Needham Market.
Alex Collard headed home AJ George’s cross in the first half and he turned provider in the second with a cross that Ty Deacon superbly volleyed home.
Needham Market are a good passing side and they had the lion’s share of possession on a difficult pitch but struggled to create real chances against a solid Diamonds defence.
Diamonds were decent in possession themselves but most dangerous from set pieces. They took the lead on 10 minutes as Ben Diamond got his head on a corner, Liam Dolman fired the rebound at goal and Ravi Shamsi played the resultant loose ball to AJ George who picked out Alex Collard for a thumping headed finish.
Needham’s best chance came as Ben Fowkes smashed in a 20 yard effort that Dean Snedker pushed away but they couldn’t turn the bulk of possession and some good passing into decent chances.
Half Time: Diamonds 1 Needham Market 0
Diamonds started the second half strongly and doubled their lead on 53 minutes. Another set piece was recycled with Ravi Shamsi’s free-kick from 40 yards this time coming out to Sam Warburton who floated the ball across to Alex Collard out wide. He struck an excellent early cross towards Ty Deacon who volleyed home superbly.
Diamonds were relatively untroubled from that point with the good passing Needham Market restricted to long distance shots that were well held by Dean Snedker. A couple of good balls to the far post nearly found substitute Hans Mpongo but he couldn’t quite connect.
Nathan Tshikuna had Diamonds best chance to add a third with a rasping effort that went just wide but Diamonds were to run out comfortable winners.
Full Time: Diamonds 2 Needham Market 0
This was a solid Diamonds performance against a buoyant Needham Market side, fresh from FA Trophy heroics, who passed the ball well and shaded possession. The Diamonds defence was impressive as ever and deserved the cleansheet with Man of the Match Alex Collard adding a goal and an assist to a superb display.
Next up is a real play-off contest as 6th place Diamonds travel to 5th place Alvechurch. Whoever wins the contest will feel like favourites for the final play-off berth.
Match Report: Paul Judd
Diamonds take on Needham Market on Tuesday night as they look to bounce back from the close-fought defeat to table toppers Banbury United on Saturday afternoon.
An excited crowd of over 1,000 packed into Banbury’s ground to see Diamonds match their high flying opponents early on. The turning point was probably the missed penalty that would have given them a deserved first half lead. Banbury scored early in the second half and held Diamonds off before clinching the points with a late 2nd.
The performance against high-flyers Banbury shows how far Diamonds have come since early/mid season when form was so erratic. The 2-2 draw at today’s opponents in September came in a good run that included wins at Nuneaton and at home to Hitchin.
Unfortunately that run was followed by no wins in 6 which included 3 defeats all at home. By contrast that spell was followed by 8 wins in 11 as Andy Peaks’ side really found their feet.
Needham come into the game off the back of a dramatic, exciting win in FA Trophy action on penalties at Yeovil Town. That followed an unbeaten 4 game run that saw 10 goals scored including 3-2 wins at Alvechurch and Barwell and a 3-3 draw at home to Hednesford and a 1-1 draw with Peterborough Sports.
The Marketmen are sitting in 13th position but with three games in hand on Diamonds that, if won, would see them just a point behind.
It’s going to be an excellent contest between two confident in-form sides and this may be commentator’s curse but should be full of goals.
Enjoy the game.
A reminder to all supporters, we do not have a cash turnstile due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
All supporters are urged to purchase a ticket in advance or pay by contactless payment at the turnstile on Tuesday evening.
|Date||Time||League||Season||Match Day||Attendance||Man of the Match||Captain|
|Tue, 18th Jan, 2022||7:45 pm||Southern League Premier Central||2021/22||20 (new date)||307||Alex Collard||Alex Collard|
|Referee||Assistant Referee 1||Assistant Referee 2|
|Alan Cox||Stacey Fullicks||Christian Leonte|
|Hayden Road Sports Ground, Hayden Road, Rushden, Northamptonshire NN10 0HX|