Rothwell Town 1 Rushden & Diamonds 2

Diamonds progressed to the final of the Maunsell Cup following a hard fought victory over Rothwell Town.

In appalling weather conditions, both teams contributed to an entertaining game. Jason Taylor scored Diamonds first goal with a neat finish while Ashley Nicholls signed off for the time being at least – with the winner. Corneil Houghton scored a deserved consolation goal for The Bones at the end.

The rain started moments after Simeon Jackson struck a 25 yard shot over the bar and never let off! At the other end Stephen Towers was well wide with a long range effort before Taylor went close following good work from Lee Tomlin.

Liam Morris and Luke Dawkins linked up well to create an opening for Mark Hackett but Ashley Jones pulled of a smart save.

As the rain became torrential, Diamonds took the lead on the half-hour. Tomlin hustled the ball away and Taylor calmly stroked the ball past Smith from the edge of the area.

Smith then saved from Tomlin before Defender Tom Shaw had a go from distance. Shortly before half-time Morris broke clear but failed to test Jones from close range.

Diamonds second goal came on 53 minutes. Taylor made ground on the left and then found Ashley Nicholls in space 20 yards out. The midfielder struck an accurate left foot shot past Smith to give Diamonds breathing space.

To there credit, Rothwell never gave up and put the Diamonds defence under a lot of pressure. Stuart Spencer wasn’t too far away with a 30-yard shot while Dawkins got round Barry Hunter but couldn’t find away past Jones.

Substitute Houghton curled an 86th minute shot narrowly round the right hand post but was more accurate 2 minutes later when he held off two challenges before hitting the roof of the net after his first effort had been blocked.

Rothwell could have snatched a late equalizer but Joseph Cossey went just wide.


Rothwell Town:

Tom Smith, Darren Capps (Corneil Houghton79), Kevin Brookes, Michael Boyle-chong (Joseph Cossey 69), Stuart Spencer, Martin Flanagan, Mark Hackett (Robert Richie – Smith 57), Stephen Towers, Luke Dawkins, Liam Morris, Michael tolton.

Subs Not Used: Shaun Allen, Tom Judge

Rushden & Diamonds:

Ashlee Jones, Tom Shaw, Scott Wark, Gary Mills, Barry Hunter, Magnus Okuonghae, Ashley Nicholls, Luke Kennedy, Lee Tomlin (Lawrence Lambley 69), Jason Taylor, Simeon Jackson (Jon Stead 69).

Subs Not Used: Martin Margarson, Ugo Udoji, Dominic Langdon.

Booked: N/A

Referee: Mr R Beeby

Attendance: 269

MOM: Ashley Nicholls

Photos by Paul Redding

Report by Chris Barritt


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