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1st Team - Match centre

AFC Rushden & Diamonds
Stratford Town
Unknown (60', 69')
Full time
Tue 19 Feb 19:45 - The Evo-Stik South - Premier Division Central Attendance 399

Town Downed by a Double at Diamonds


A depleted but spirited Town fail to convert chances as they fall to play off rivals in Northamptonshire

Match Report by KEVIN HAND, Match Stats by ROD ABRAHAMS, Photographs by GRANTY

AFC Rushden and Diamonds 2 Stratford 0 HT (0-0)
Tuesday 19 February, 2019 7.45 pm
EvoStik Premier Division Central

• I will a round unvarnish’d tale deliver

On a deceptively cold evening Stratford were given a warm reception both on and off the pitch! AFC R&D is a well-run, friendly club and, on the night, their team oozed class and pace all over the park. Not that Town was far behind but a patched up team with 2 significant suspensions their efforts weren’t quite enough.

Lewis Wilson and Albi Skendi filled in at the centre of defence and let no-one down. Mid-field saw the return of club captain, Jimmy Fry. Wilson and Oulton, are ex-Diamonds players fondly remembered by the home fans but they still gave Ross some ‘stick’ when he was booked on 19 minutes following a series of crunching tackles. Oulton walked the tight rope for the rest of the game to put in an outstanding display.

Town had the advantage of the slope in the first 45 minutes that the locals saw as significant. And so it nearly proved on 10 seconds as Wilson Carvalho broke from the left and drove forward only to finish with a tame shot from just outside the area that was easily gathered by keeper Ben Heath. The opening exchanges were open; Diamonds fluid and pacey; Town neatly-intricate.

On 6 minutes Cox hit a fierce goal-bound drive that was blocked but generally defences were proving stubborn to break down. Cox was then to make an outstanding tackle on 14 minutes when the dangerous Tom Lorraine broke into the area. But it was Town who enjoyed marginally more of the game with Grocott combining well with Carvalho. Town’s best chance came on 40 when neat inter-passing down the left saw Grocott play in Shariff whose shot was turned away for a corner by Heath.

The second half continued as a feast of open football with Diamonds taking control. Zak Reynolds began to get the measure of Wilson Carvalho. Samuel Johnson, Tom Lorraine and Ben Diamond impressed with their pace and fluidity. Not that Town didn’t threaten. On 52 minutes Shariff and Creaney both had shots blocked as Town piled on the pressure. At the other end Etheridge had to save from Hicks and Diamond. The opening goal came on 60 minutes from the unlikely source of defensive rock, Liam Dolman. Diamonds won a corner on the right and Etheridge clawed away Ben Diamond’s header only for Dolman to pop up and power home from an acute angle.

Albi Skendi now pressed forward as Town fought for an equaliser. Inevitably, gaps were left and on 70 minutes Samuel Johnson raced clear through the middle and made no mistake for a second and decisive Diamonds’ score. Town battled to the end as Creaney saw a header loop onto the bar and a Carvalho swerving free kick was tipped over by Heath.

It’s really tight at the top now with probably up to 6 teams (including Diamonds) vying for a play-off place. The next games at Hitchin and Barwell may well define Town’s play-off aspirations. If so, the return fixture against Diamonds at the Arden Garages Stadium could be tasty indeed.

• I will a round unvarnish’d tale deliver. Othello - Act1 Scene3

Man of the Match: Ross Oulton


             9Goal Attempts           13
             7On Target             5
            0Blocked Shots            0
            0Hit Woodwork            1
             5Corners Won            4
             5Crosses into Box            8
           13Fouls Conceded         13
             2Off Side            0
             0Yellow Cards            2
            0Red Cards           0

Attendance: 399

Next up:
Saturday 23 February 3.00pm Hitchin (A) EvoStik PDC
Saturday 02 March 3.00pm Barwell (A) EvoStik PDC

Ross Oulton

Player of the Match

Ross Oulton

Key moments

Goal Goal for AFC Rushden & Diamonds
Goal Goal for AFC Rushden & Diamonds


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90:00 +5:00 Player of the Match
Ross Oulton is awarded player of the match for Stratford Town
86:00 Yellow Card
Dan Creaney is yellow carded for Stratford Town
69:00 Goal 2 - 0
Goal for AFC Rushden & Diamonds
60:00 Goal 1 - 0
Goal for AFC Rushden & Diamonds
End of period 1
20:00 Yellow Card
Ross Oulton is yellow carded for Stratford Town
Start of the game
Replay game

As it happened

  • AFC Rushden & Diamonds
  • Stratford Town
  • 0
  • Ross Oulton Yellow Card 20:00'
  • Goal 60:00'
  • Goal 69:00'
  • Dan Creaney Yellow Card 86:00'

Team selection

Etheridge, Ross Etheridge, Ross
Cox, Chris Cox, Chris
Wilson, Lewis Wilson, Lewis
Carvalho, Wilson Carvalho, Wilson
Skendi, Albi Skendi, Albi
Isaac, Kynan Isaac, Kynan
Grocott, Will Grocott, Will
Oulton, Ross Oulton, Ross
Creaney, Dan Creaney, Dan
Shariff, Nabil Shariff, Nabil
Fry, James Fry, James
Stratford Town

League table

# Team Pl Pts
1. Kettering Town 42 94
2. King's Lynn Town 42 80
3. Stourbridge 42 78
4. Alvechurch 42 73
5. Stratford Town 42 72
6. Coalville Town 42 67
7. Biggleswade Town 42 66

Team sponsors


Club sponsors