Seventh Heaven for Diamonds
Rushden and Diamonds secure promotion after the Moles get taught a lesson in football
'Nobody said it was easy' - Chris Martin, 2002.
Aylesbury FC travelled to AFC Rushden & Diamonds on Tuesday night fully expecting one of their toughest tests of the season. A defense that had only conceded 24 goals all season, and a front line scoring for fun, it certainly looked an almost impossible test, but the visitors were hoping to spoil the host's promotion party.
The game was briefly in doubt, as the FC kit had failed to travel, fortunately a fetching alternative Orange ensemble had evidentially been plucked from the depths of lost property to spare the FC kitman's blushes.
In the terrential conditions, the Diamonds fans were still out in force, waiting for a performance worthy of table toppers to unwravel, and they didn't have to wait long for the game to come to life.
Just 4 minutes in, alarm bells began to ring for the Moles, Daley skipped past Rayon Haye, and delivered a superb ball into the danger zone, but no Rushden toe was on hand to tap the ball in.
However, the visitors failed to heed the warning and the hosts were soon ahead. Fairlamb this time had the better of Haye, reaching the by-line with ease, before teeing up Ben Farrell to fire home with ease at close range, for his first of the night.
Just four minutes later, on 20 minutes Joel Gyasi rather fortuitously made it 2-0. A deep cross from a free kick on the left hand side beat all of the outfield players in the box, before drifting over captain Ashley Jenkins' head into the top corner.
When all hope looked losted, FC mounted a short lived comeback. Some quality work from Anthony Ball to keep chasing down lost causes was finally rewarded, as he stole the ball from Rushden captain Dolan, quickly moved the ball onto Kieren Schmidt, who subsequentally played in Davide Pobbe, who placed the ball between the goalkeeper's legs to get the Moles on the scoreboard.
The Moles looked to be heading into the break just a goal down, but the hosts had other ideas, minutes before half time Ashley Jenkins made a sublime one handed save to deny Robbins, however, the fox in the box Ben Farrell was on hand to fire in the rebound for his second of the night and Diamonds' third - the crowd sent into raptures.
Half Time AFCR&D 3 Aylesbury FC 1
The Moles began the second half the brighter of the two teams, with Kieren Schmidt and Davide Pobbe showing great chemistry on the left hand side, which resulted in the latter firing a shot from an acute angle Heath in the goal - stinging his hands. However, this was the only opportunity that the Moles could muster in a 45 minutes completely dominated by the hosts.
Ben Farrell secured his hat-trick on 61 minutes, after Ashley Jenkins could only parry a strongly struck Oulton drive from long range onto his post, with Farrell scoring one of his more simple goals this season.
Two minutes later the scoreboard hit 5 goals, this time captain Dolan rose like a salmon above Kris Clark, to nod home a corner at the front post.
At this point FC heads inevitably started to drop, but credit where it's due, the lads never gave up. On 73 minutes a well weighted ball from Oulton was taken down skilfully by Diamonds substitute Diamond who cooly rounded Jenkins, to slot home into an empty net.
The final hoorah late on for Diamonds came ten minutes from time, when another substitute Ford, who found Diamond lurking in the FC penalty area, who did the rest and dispatched his second and the hosts' seventh past Jenkins.
It could have got worse late on for the Moles where Lorraine connected sweetly with a Gyasi corner, however Alex Woodfine was on hand to clear the strong header off of the line.
Full Time AFCR&D 7 Aylesbury FC 1
As a result of the three points staying in Northamptonshire, AFC Rushden and Diamonds are promoted to the Southern Premier alongside Beaconsfield Town. Congratulations to both sides.
As for the Moles, the team are back in action at home to Bedford Town on Thursday 26th April, 7:45 K.O, with reduced admission prices at just £5 for Adults!
Match Rating - 4/5
Aylesbury FC MOTM - Davide Pobbe