AFC Rushden & Diamonds
In their final home game before Christmas, The Lambs in 10th spot welcomed The Diamonds in 8th to the CR MOT Community Stadium. It was the fourth meeting between the two sides with Tamworth having not lost to AFC and in the last meeting on 19 Oct 2019 Jordan Gough, Ryan Beswick and Tyrell Waite netted in a three – nil home victory.
With Saturday’s match having been chalked off, Gary Smith and Andrew Danylyszyn had a second attempt at their 99th game in charge of the side, and made just one change to the eleven that started against Biggleswade and had been winning 1-0 at the break, with Lucas Yeomans, who had replaced the injured Ben Hart on 40 minutes, starting against Diamonds while new loan signing Kai Lissimore took a spot on the bench.
Rushden and Diamonds got the game underway, with Tamworth attacking the Meadow Street End in the first half.
Neither side as able to take any early control over proceedings and the ball made it’s way up and down field in the opening 10 minutes, without any threat in the final third, although the offside flag was raised a couple of times against Wilder and McDonald.
Then, Dolman opened the scoring in spectacular fashion, advancing out of defence over the half way line to mop up a short pass and fire from fully 35 yards past Singh and into the back of the net (0-1, 11 mins)
Tamworth responded by pushing up field and forced a left sided corner on 15 via a Wilder shot off a defender, which was headed off the head of McDonald for a corner on the opposite side.
Shamsi struck a low shot at Singh on 17.
There was a break in play while Shamsi received prolonged treatment on the field around 25 and when lay resumed McDonald fried low from the left of the area but Snedker was equal to the deflection.
Dolman nearly doubled his tally and the advantage on 32 but saw his header form a left sided corner come back off the far post and he then rose highest at the far post in the next passage of play, but headed high over the target into the Castle End.
Shaw saw his low strike from 20 yards deflect off Collard, beat Snedker but come back off the left hand post on 35 and when Diamonds advanced, Bell-Toxtle hit a rising effort over Singh’s goal.
Creaney had to be replaced by Waite on 36 and on 38 McDonald’s shot, similar to that which saw him hit the back of the net at the weekend, went just wide of the mark and he struck another effort on the angle from the left of the box on 42 but it whistled past the far post this time.
Wilder then sent a long cross into the box and Waite got his head to it but couldn’t get the direction to test Snedker before the half time whistle blew.
The Lambs resumed the game, attacking the Castle End, and Waite went through but fired over the target as the flag went up.
McDonald forced a corner on the left on 50 which caused some problems, but was cleared, and on 53 the visitors set up a similar deadball from the Cross Street corner of the ground which was dealt with.
On 56 Pendley upended Shamsi on the left edge of the D and he struck the freekick straight into the arms of Singh.
Lissimore made his debut on 60, replacing Shaw in midfield.
on 66, Tshikuna tried his luck from 25 yards with a powerful drive but it was straight at Singh who took it at chest height and a shot from the right flashed past the post on 67 with Singh well positioned.
Waite forced Snedker into a low stop at his near post on 68.
When Concannon was brought down 25 yards out on 71 McDonald lined up the dead ball but struck the wall and Diamonds continued to defend strongly.
Concannon’s corner found the head of Waite on 74 but he flashed his effort wide of the far post and the flagkick taker was replaced before play could resume by Cross.
Cross then combined with McDonald and the latter was able to get his shot away on a tight angle but struck the outside of the right hand upright.
Clement took a left sided corner on 82 but it was too long and The Lambs were forced to rebuild from the clearance as the minutes ticked down.
A chance in added time fell to Yeomans but his shot was never going to make it through the crowded area and a corner resulted, which was punched away and headed behind, then caught by Snedker in the final action of the match.
Singh, Yeomans, Wilder, Shaw (Lissemore 60), Pendley, Cox, McDonald, Clement, Creaney (Waite 36), Concannon (Cross 74), Jones
Subs: Fallows, Brown
Snedker, Casey, Warburton, Bell-Toxtle, Dolman, Collard (c.), Tshikuna (Slinn 79), Diamond, Deacon (Jones 85), Shamsi, George (Furlong 76)
Subs: Garwood, Nixon
Referee: Mr. Naill Smith