‘Top performance’ delights Diamonds boss Starmer

Action from Desborough Town's 4-2 defeat to Loughborough University in the FA Cup. Pictures by Alison Bagley

Action from Desborough Town's 4-2 defeat to Loughborough University in the FA Cup. Pictures by Alison Bagley

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Mark Starmer was delighted with what he described as a “top performance” as AFC Rushden & Diamonds caused an FA Cup upset at Northwood.

First-half goals from Alfie Taylor and Matt Gearing proved to be enough for the ChromaSport & Trophies United Counties League Premier Division side as they secured a 2-1 success over their Calor League Division One Central hosts.

Action from Desborough Town's 4-2 defeat to Loughborough University in the FA Cup. Pictures by Alison Bagley

Action from Desborough Town's 4-2 defeat to Loughborough University in the FA Cup. Pictures by Alison Bagley

The preliminary round success means Diamonds will now travel to Spartan League outfit Cockfosters on September 14 in the first qualifying round.

And boss Starmer said: “It was a great day for us and a top performance.

“We had reports on how they play and I selected the team accordingly. They had a lot of possession, which we knew they would and the message to our boys was just to keep their shape and stay disciplined.

“They did that and it gave us the chance to put them under pressure. We had a good spell in the first half when we got the two goals and we defended well in the second half.

Action from Desborough Town's 4-2 defeat to Loughborough University in the FA Cup. Pictures by Alison Bagley

Action from Desborough Town's 4-2 defeat to Loughborough University in the FA Cup. Pictures by Alison Bagley

“They got a goal back but there were never really any massive scares for us after that. We had as many chances as them, if not more, to score again.

“It was a brilliant result and the perfect response from our lads after losing the league game at Huntingdon in midweek.

“We will see what we can find out about Cockfosters but they are in the same league as AFC Dunstable who we play in the FA Vase next weekend and London Colney who we have already beaten in the FA Cup.

“We seem to be away all the time but we will not worry about that too much. We will carry on and see how far we can go.”

Action from Desborough Town's 4-2 defeat to Loughborough University in the FA Cup. Pictures by Alison Bagley

Action from Desborough Town's 4-2 defeat to Loughborough University in the FA Cup. Pictures by Alison Bagley

There was disappointment, however, for Desborough Town boss Steve Walker as his team were knocked out after a 4-2 home defeat to Loughborough University.

Ar Tarn fought back from 2-0 down to draw level thanks to goals from Paul Caswell and Michael Byrne but Walker felt two injuries to key players took the game away from his team.

“We never really got started and we were 2-0 down before we started playing,” Walker said.

“But we got a goal back, we should have scored again before half-time and then we did equalise in the second half.

“Our centre-half got injured and then our left-sided midfielder had to go off and it left us a bit unbalanced. But we went for the win and we got caught out on the counter-attack. It was very disappointing.”