Following on from Saturday’s win at Alvechurch, Hednesford Town were on the road again making the journey to Northamptonshire to face AFC Rushden and Diamonds in the BetVictor Premier Central League. Prior to the game the Diamonds sat in eighth place after a run of four wins, one place and one point ahead of the Pitmen, having played an additional game.
There was an early altercation at Hayden Road when Ben Acquaye was dismissed in the third minute after lashing out at Matt Curley, firstly with a kick and then an elbow. The Pitmen used the extra man advantage to retain possession and stretch play across the park in an attempt to break down the home defence, but with the Diamonds defending resolutely chances were few and far between for both sides.
It looked as if the game would go into the break goalless in what would have been a frustrating half for the Pitmen, when Danny Glover made the breakthrough in the 43rd finding the net with a low drive from the left of the area after Diamonds’ keeper Ben Heath had made an initial save.
The second half continued in a similar pattern to the first with the Pitmen unable to make the most of the numerical advantage. After the hour mark there was a flurry of action as Izak Reid shot wide for the Pitmen, before Patrick Casey made a clearance off the line to keep the Diamonds in the game. Ashton headed onto the bar from a corner as the home side fought for an equaliser.
Shaun Rowley held onto a shot from Nathan Hicks before some decisive substitutions from the Diamonds led to a period of dominance. In the 86th minute the Pitmen lost possession in midfield allowing Tom Lorraine to run into the area, his shot was blocked by a defender, but before the calls for handball gained momentum, Ryan Dove was on hand to tuck the ball away.
AFC Rushden and Diamonds; Heath, Casey, Brown, Ashton, Dolman (C), Akubuine, Farrell, Shariff (Dove 82), Acquaye, Gosnal-Tyler (Lorraine 73), Hicks (Macleod 78). Subs not used; Kelly, Munro
Hednesford Town; Rowley, Curley, Griffiths, Bailey (C), Gatter, Hurst, Reid, King, Glover, O’Hanlon (Sanali 73), Abadaki (Hodge 83). Subs not used; Fry, Jones, Veiga