Blues 1 AFC Rushden & Diamonds 4
Blues suffer a second successive home League defeat
The Blues slipped to a third League defeat in four home outings as the third placed visitors claimed an impressive win on the road in a MATCH SPONSORED BY POWERCLEAN CHEMICALS LIMITED. New signing Ashley Nicholls came into the starting line up along with the returning Tom Bullard, Matt Rutterford and Robert Eagle as Matt Blake and Harry Knights dropped to the bench while Noel Aitkens (suspended for the first team) and Josh Moore played for the Reserves. Before the match, a minute’s silence was impeccably observed by spectators in memory of Leiston FC supporter and Financial Board member Keith Cracknell, who passed away on Monday.
The Blues found themselves a goal down after just 69 seconds. A ball into the box looked to have been dealt with by Marcus Garnham but the ball fell loose to Albie Hopkins who made no mistake to fire the ball under the goalkeeper. Both sides played some decent football, with Leiston knocking the ball around well at times, and new signing Ashley Nicholls playing well. Leiston's Matt Rutterford provided some optimism dispatching a thunderous drive after good work by Christy Finch and Robert Eagle, but Leiston fell further behind just after the half hour mark. A high ball launched into the edge of the area of the box picked out the impressive Tom Lorraine who climbed totally unopposed to head past Garnham. Garnham, having gone down moments before the second goal went in, had to be substituted after picking up a calf injury. Harry Knights came on to partner Tom Bullard at centre back, with Joe Jefford going in goal. A good run from Rutterford on the right enabled him to release a ball to Jake Reed but he shot over when well placed. Reed was fouled just outside the area in the third minute of time added on in the first period, and Christy Finch brilliantly curled the ball into Ben Heath's top left hand corner.
At the start of the second period, Leiston defended well and Joe Jefford got down well to deny the impressive Tom Lorraine. Rushden had some good chances but were wasteful with the efforts on the Leiston goal, while Christy Finch put in Jake Reed but he smashed his shot into the side netting. The visitors made the game safe on 79 minutes as Ben Diamond headed home past Joe Jefford. Harry Knights then brought down Lorraine in the penalty area and Ben Farrell made no mistake from the spot as Rushden made the game safe.
The Blues next game is at home to Stourbridge on Saturday afternoon.
FT - Blues 1 AFC Rushden & Diamonds 4
Blues - Garnham, (Knights 37 mins), Hammond, Dunbar, Nicholls (Brothers 80 mins), Jefford, Bullard, Rutterford (Blake 76 mins), Reed, Finch, Eagle. Subs not used - Davies and Keys.
AFC Rushden & Diamonds - Heath, Reynolds, Brown, Berry-Hargreaves, Collard, Farrell, Rogers, Hicks (Curtis 87 mins), Lorraine (Johnson 89 mins), Diamond, Hopkins (Dean 89 mins). Subs not used - Kelly and Pickworth.
Match Sponsors POWERCLEAN CHEMICALS LIMITED Man Of The Match - Ashley Nicholls
Attendance - 277