Written by 
Rate this item
(0 votes)

Lorraine double condemns Saints to Boxing Day defeat

Friday, 28 December 2018 22:02

EvoStik League South Premier Division Central

AFC Rushden & Diamonds 2 St Neots Town 0

A Tom Lorraine brace for AFC Rushden & Diamonds proved to be the difference between the sides at Hayden Road on Boxing Day, with Saints playing more than half the match with only 10 men after Tom Wood was harshly dismissed before the break.  Whilst it was always going to be an uphill battle for St Neots after the sending off, coming as it did moments after they had fallen behind, it was still disappointing that they failed to force one save from home keeper Heath throughout the ninety minutes.

 

For the first twenty minutes the teams were evenly matched with very little goalmouth action.  Saints best goal bound effort came in the opening minute from Norville-Williams whose twenty five yard effort whistled over the bar, whilst Diamond had the best chance for the hosts but his header was well wide.  In what proved to be Saints best move of the match, Parr combined with Miles down the right in the twentieth minute and drove in a great cross that was met by Shariff but his header just cleared the bar.  Diamond then had another chance for the hosts as the game started to open up and should have done better with a free header from a Reynolds cross but he directed his effort straight in to the arms of Iron, whilst a free kick by Hicks sailed over..

 

It was a thirteen minute spell just before the break that proved to be pivotal in determining the outcome of the match.  Firstly two late challenges from Farrell saw the home midfielder booked in the twentieth eighth minute, and just six minutes later an even later challenge on Wood resulted in a free kick to Saints but surprisingly no further action was taken against the home player.  Williams put the resulting free kick just over the bar.  On Forty minutes the hosts took the lead when a corner from the left was met by Hopkins and although his header was cleared off the line, LORRAINE was on hand to tap home from close range.  Less than a minute later Saints were down to ten men when Wood was shown a straight red card for what the Referee adjudged to be a dangerous tackle even though he won the ball in a fifty -fifty challenge.

 

Despite their numerical advantage the home side failed to test Iron in the Saints goal in the early stages of the second half, although former Saints Declan Rogers was only denied by the woodwork when his twenty yard free kick looked goal bound.  It was the sixty ninth minute when Rushden & Diamonds doubled their advantage and effectively ended any hope that Saints might force an unlikely equaliser, and it was Tom LORRAINE that struck from close range yet again after Diamond met a Hicks cross and his blocked shot fell at the feet of the striker.  The home team had the ball in the net again four minutes later was Brown was adjudged to have pushed the Saints defender as he met a Rogers cross.  The final fifteen minutes was non -eventful, broken up by no less than five substitutions as Rushden & Diamonds seemed to settle for their two goal advantage and Saints, despite never giving up, lacked any creativity to open up the home defence.

 

 

AFC Rushden & Diamonds: Heath, Reynolds, Brown, Punter, Collard, Rogers, Hopkins, Farrell, Lorraine, Diamond, Hicks  Subs Berry-Hargreaves (for Farrell 46), Johnson (for Reynolds 75), Westbrook (for Hicks 81), unused Dean and  Curtis

Cautioned: Farrell (28), Berry-Hargreaves (90)

 

 

Saints: Iron, Hughes, Norville-Williams, Knight, Short, Parr, Miles, Wood, Shariff, Williams, Daldy  subs  Stanley (for Miles 62), Wharton (for Shariff 65), Borg (for Williams 74), unused Herd, Gomes

Cautioned: Stanley 77), Knight (89)

 

Sent Off: Wood (41)

Read 81 times