Lorraine and Ashton edge Diamonds closer to promotion

Jack Ashton scored his first goal of the season to wrap up Diamonds' win
Jack Ashton scored his first goal of the season to wrap up Diamonds' win

AFC Rushden & Diamonds’ relentless charge towards promotion continued as they claimed a 2-0 success at struggling Barton Rovers.

Second-half goals from Tom Lorraine and Jack Ashton wrapped up a 22nd win of the season in the Evo-Stik South League East and ensured Andy Peaks’ side moved eight points clear at the top and, more importantly, 10 clear of third-placed AFC Dunstable as they bid for one of two automatic promotion places.

Diamonds were in control for long spells in the first half but Ryan Robbins had an effort ruled out for offside before Ben Farrell had a shot cleared off the line after being played in by Lorraine.

And Lorraine went close before the break when he met Luke Fairlamb’s cross with a header, only for former Diamonds goalkeeper Matt Finlay to make a good save from close-range.

But Finlay was given no chance four minutes into the second half when Lorraine headed home from four yards after another cross from Fairlamb.

Finlay did tip a Farrell header over the bar but Diamonds doubled their lead with 18 minutes to go with another header, this time from Ashton who finished off Joe Curtis’ cross for his first goal of the season.

Diamonds can now look forward to a huge game at Hayden Road on Tuesday night when they take on third-placed AFC Dunstable.