AFC Rushden & Diamonds v Tamworth FC
AFC Rushden & Diamonds
Tamworth travelled to Hayden Road to face AFC Rushden and Diamonds, nearly 27 years since their last visit to the ground when Rushden Town were the occupants.
Mike Fowler and Tim Harris made one change to the starting XI that defeated Rushall Olympic on Bank Holiday Monday with Tristan Dunkley replacing Lewis Wright.
After reseting the ‘number of days since a home win clock’ from 150 days back to zero on Monday, the away variant of the clock stood at 258 days as Diamonds kicked off the game with The Lambs attacking down the slope.
First chance of the game fell to Lorraine after a slip from Upton allowed Rushden to pounce on the loose ball, but his shat from 18 yards was high over Singh’s goal.
A similar inability to clear the danger on 5 allowed Farrell to slide and shoot but he swept it wode of the mark.
Diamonds kept up the uphill pressure and Weswood’s ball from the right was cleared behind by Dunkley for a corner on the left on 9 which Kettle cleared.
The Lambs took the lead shortly after when Finn forced a corner on the right on 12 and Beswick's ball to the near post was flicked on by Upton and then finished with power at the far post by Asante (1-0, 12 mins)
Finn curled a shot from the edge of the box around the left hand post on 15 and at the other end on 19 Dolman somehow missed his shot at the far post after good work from Westwood down the Rushden right again.
The home side equalised on 22 when Kettle slipped and the ball went out to the right of the box to Lorraine who made no mistake with a low shot past Singh inside the far post. (1-1, 22 mins)
On 25 Tamworth were back in front though, Dunkley’s pinpoint cross from the right fell perfectly for Waite to power his header past Heath with his first goal of the season (2-1, 25 mins)
A cross from the left on 33 came off Green and looped over Singh, hit the underside of the bar and bounced a foot or so in the box before being cleared as the home side bore down.
Waite capitalised on a poor clearance and set Lait with his sight on goal on 37 but his shot was deflected behind for a corner on the right which was cleared and made its way back to Singh.
Punter was booked on 41 for a foul on the halfway line. Upton headed a well placed cross from the right away for a corner on the left on 45 which was dealt with before the half time whistle blew.
HT: AFC RUSHDEN AND DIAMONDS 1 2 TAMWORTH
Tamworth restarted proceedings Asante fired low but a deflection took it past the despairing lunge of Lait at the far post on 48 and then Waite turned on the ball in the box but fired wide of the same post 48.
Beswick put a corner on the head of Verma on 52 but Heath was equal to it and pushed it away one handed when it looked odds on to make it 3-1.
Diamonds countered and forced Tamworth back into the final third, with a corner from Gyasi the result but it was wasted.
Waite made a strong run over the half way line on 55 and threaded it through to Lait in the left of the box but he was unable to get his quick shot in full stride on target.
Verma picked up a card on the hour for a foul about 25 yards out and the resulting freekick went through to Singh and then Green was booked for obstruction.
Nothing came of the freekick, but Rushden pushed on and forced a corner off Dunkley which Upton dealt with.
Waite struck from 18 yards on 66 and forced Heath to push it away then at the other end Singh dealt quite easily with a low shot from Hopkins.
While Singh received the attention of the physio around 70 the players took a drinks break. Lait spotted an opening on 76 and struck for the target from distance but it rose as it travelled and didn’t trouble Heath.
Diamonds split the Lambs defence down the left wing on 81 but the cross was defended superbly by Upton and the danger cleare
Dunkley went down and needed treatment before being replaced by Wright on 84 and a Beswick freekick was headed goalward by Kettle on 95 but Heath was equal to it.
Green hit a low shot that took one bounce before Heath watched it go out past the left hand post on 88.
A foul on the Rushden right wing allowed Westwood to curl the ball into the box and Green got their first and Lait headed the corner away.
In added time Morris replaced Lait and Rushden pushed on again with a long throw and it looked like Waite would sprint onto a looped ball forwards one on one with Heath but a late flag denied him.
Then deep into added time the ball cames into the box from the right and Singh mishandled it, allowing Lorraine to head home as it popped up out of his hands to make it 2-2 on 90+5.
The clock kept ticking until it hit 54 minutes and the referee blew his whistle on a point a piece.
Singh, Dunkley (Wright 84), Upton,Green P, Kettle, Beswick, Finn (Shaw 87), Verma, Waite, Asante, Lait (Morris 90+3)
Subs: Jezeph, Ofori
YC: Verma 60, Green 62
AFC Rushden and Diamonds Team:
Heath, Westwood, Brown, Punter, Dolman, Westbrook, Gyasi (Diamond 65), Farrell (Lobjolt 72), Lorraine, Hopkins (Dean 80), Clifton
Subs: Hicks, Pickworth
YC: Punter 41, Westbrook 65
Referee: MR R. Dadley