Brilliant Diamonds see off Bedford

Jason Turner was on target in AFC Rushden & Diamonds' superb 3-0 win at Bedford Town in the FA Cup preliminary round replay
Jason Turner was on target in AFC Rushden & Diamonds' superb 3-0 win at Bedford Town in the FA Cup preliminary round replay
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AFC Rushden & Diamonds stormed into the first qualifying round of the FA Cup after a superb 3-0 win at Bedford Town.

Andy Peaks’ men only earned a second go at the Southern League Division One Central side thanks to Matt Gearing’s late goal in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at the Dog & Duck.

But the ChromaSport & Trophies United Counties League Premier Division outfit made no mistake in the preliminary round replay at the Eyrie as they dumped their higher-ranked opponents out in emphatic style.

They took the lead after just eight minutes when Tom Lorraine scored after a move on the left.

And Diamonds were given some breathing space midway through the first half when Jason Turner headed home Brad Harris’ cross.

Turner was denied a second after the break when Lee Crockett tipped his effort onto the crossbar.

But Peaks’ side completed a fantastic night 18 minutes from full-time when Gearing scored from the penalty spot after a handball in the area.

The victory means Diamonds will now travel to Hendon, who currently sit in fifth spot in the Ryman League Premier Division, in the first qualifying round a week on Saturday.