Diamonds' derby-day hero Gyasi is eyeing a promotion push

Joel Gyasi scores the first of his two goals in AFC Rushden & Diamonds' 3-2 victory over Kettering Town at Hayden Road. Picture by Peter Short
Joel Gyasi scores the first of his two goals in AFC Rushden & Diamonds' 3-2 victory over Kettering Town at Hayden Road. Picture by Peter Short

Joel Gyasi was the star of the show as AFC Rushden & Diamonds took the local bragging rights on Tuesday night.

The flying winger scored twice and proved to be a real thorn in the side of Kettering Town as Diamonds claimed a 3-2 success over their local rivals at Hayden Road.

It may have only been the BigFreeBet.com Challenge Cup, but the Diamonds and the Poppies going up against each certainly captured the imagination of many as a season-high crowd of 615 turned up for the second-round tie.

Kettering took an early lead through Rhys Hoenes as they flew out of the traps but Ben Diamond levelled before Gyasi struck either side of half-time to ultimately to secure the success.

And the winger was delighted with the outcome as well as his own personal contribution.

“We take every game seriously,” he said.

“It was only the league cup but we had to put in a shift for the crowd and ourselves and let them know that even though they are league higher, we can match them. It was a great night for us.

“We started slowly and once they got the goal we knew we were in for a game and we picked up the tempo and went from there.

“I do like to get on the ball and use my speed, that’s my biggest asset.

“It was fun and it was nice to get the two goals. With the first one, it came out to me and as soon as I hit it I knew it was going in.

“And with the second one, I just turned and hit it with my left foot and luckily it went in.”

The midweek success ensured Diamonds’ recent good form continued.

They are now looking ahead to Saturday’s home clash with Northwood in the Evo-Stik South League East and a push for one of the two automatic promotion places is very much at the forefront of Gyasi’s mind.

Diamonds moved into third place thanks to a 4-1 win at Uxbridge last weekend.

And Gyasi added: “We have had some new additions like Ryan Robbins and Ben Diamond who have come in and made a difference.

“The important thing now is that we keep going and try to keep on this run on Saturday.

“We have got to make sure we stay in the top three or four going into Christmas and then try to push on in the new year and get the automatic promotion we are looking for.”