Stourbridge 1 AFC Rushden and Diamonds 1 - Report

Stourbridge should have wrapped up maximum points from this contest but instead finished up hanging on for the draw having been reduced to 10 men in the closing stages.

That was after Stourbridge had started the game like and house on fire and could easily have grabbed a couple of early goals.

Tom Solanke picked out Ben O'Hanlon with a glorious cross only to put the chance wide before Ethan Moran forced Rushden goalkeeper Dean Snedker into a suberb save when he kept the ball out with his legs.

It was completely against the run of play when Rushden rocked the home support by taking the lead with a well crafted 11th minute goal.

The aptly named Ben Diamond cut through the Glassboys defence with a precision pass that let in Connor Furlong to polish off with a precise finish.

Stourbridge strove to repair the damage and should have levelled on 40 minutes when on loan Grimsby Town striker Montel Gibson somehow scooped the ball over an open goal after Bem Usher Shipway had torn the Rushden defence apart.

Rushden tried to reinforce their advantage at the start of second half exchanges.

Jesse Akubuine tried an audacious lob from the half way line that almost caught Glassboys goalkeeper Charlie Price off his line, but Price recovered just in time to palm the ball away.

Price then proved at his best when he kept out a goalbound shot from Diamond on 47 minutes.

Rushden rapidly retreated from that point and tried to defend their lead.

But sustained Stourbridge pressure soon told when substitute Melis Bushaj slotted home from the edge of the area with a lovely low shot.

That should have been the signal for Stourbridge to go on and win the game but instead they finished up hanging on for the draw after they had central defender Tom Taylor sent off in the 83rd minute for a second yellow card offence.

Rushden roused themselves from their defensive routine but Stourbridge survived despite a few late scares.

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