Diamonds won this entertaining New Year’s Day 7 goal thriller having come from behind to lead 4-2 before a late St. Ives rally made for a slightly nervy finish.
Diamonds started slowly and trailed to relegation threatened St. Ives after 9 minutes. Ex-Diamond Joe Curtis pounced on an error in midfield evaded a couple of tackles and hit a superb effort beyond Ben Heath. Diamonds took a while to get going but got an important pre half time equaliser. Jack Ashton headed a Matt Slinn free kick back across goal for Nabil Shariff to bundle home.
In a really bright start to the second half Diamonds took the lead from a Sam Brown long through that was allowed to bounce and span in at the far post off a defender with Greg Kaziboni chasing it home. Diamonds should have been out of sight with Nabil Shariff seeing a good header saved and then hitting the post from an angle and Nathan Hicks just striking wide in Diamonds best spell. But hard working St. Ives found an equaliser on 60 minutes as low cross found its way to the far post where it was bundled home by Dylan Wilson.
Parity lasted just 7 minutes though as Nathan Hicks broke free and his cross was turned home by Zack Reynolds just inside the post. Diamonds looked comfortable and when Liam Dolman smashed home a thumping header from a Ben Acquaye corner it looked game over.
St. Ives didn’t see it that way and put on an impressive finish to the game. Full back Ben Toseland fired an effort from distance on 88 minutes that dropped over Ben Heath to make it 4-3. Diamonds then saw out a slightly nervy finish to claim the 3 points to make it 4 from 6 away from home over the festive period.
Next up the visit of old friends Barwell on Saturday afternoon who like Diamonds closed on six of the sides ahead of them with a New Year’s Day victory.
Man of the Match: Nabil Shariff
Match Report: Paul Judd
|St. Ives Town||AFC Rushden & Diamonds|
|1. Finley Iron
2. Aaron Phillips
3. Ben Toseland
4. Edmund Hottor
5. Alfie Powell
6. Thomas Wood
7. Dylan Wilson
8. Robert Parker (C)
9. Matthew Foy
10. Joe Curtis
11. Ben Seymour-Shove
12. Jarvis Wilson (for Philips 46)
14. Ty Ward
15. Oliver Snaith (for Hotter 79)
16. George Bailey (for Wilson 74)
17. Daniel Clifton
|13. Ben Heath
2. Zack Reynolds
3. Sam Brown
4. Jack Ashton
5. Liam Dolman (C)
6. Jesse Aqubuine
7. Ben Acquaye
8. Matthew Slinn
9. Nabil Shariff
10. Gregory Kaziboni
11. Nathan Hicks
12. Ryan Hughes
14. Ben Farrell (for Hicks 85)
15. Tom Lorraine (for Shariff 85)
16. Patrick Casey
17. Nathaniel Gosnal-Tyler (for Kaziboni 83)
|Goals: Curtis (8), Wilson (60), Toseland (88)||Goals: Shariff (27), O.G. (51), Reynolds (67), Dolman (81)|
|Yellow cards: Curtis||Yellow cards:|
|Red cards:||Red cards:|
|Referee: Luke Scott
Assistants: Lukas Wood, Scott Hamilton