Lorraine at the double as Diamonds go clear

Tom Lorraine scored both goals as AFC Rushden & Diamonds won 2-0 at Aylesbury United
Tom Lorraine scored both goals as AFC Rushden & Diamonds won 2-0 at Aylesbury United

AFC Rushden & Diamonds moved three points clear at the top of the Evo-Stik South League East after they claimed a sixth successive win and their fourth in a row by a 2-0 scoreline as they saw off nine-man Aylesbury United.

The club’s all-time leading goalscorer Tom Lorraine grabbed both goals as Andy Peaks’ men secured a fifth successive clean sheet to maintain their place at the top of the table.

Diamonds were without the suspended Richard Bunting while Ben Diamonds was ruled out after being taken ill during the day with recent signing Jack Westbrook being handed his first start for the club.

The visitors went close with Liam Dolman’s free-kick being just off target before a key turning point arrived on 23 minutes.

Ben Farrell latched onto a poor headed backpass and he lobbed the ball over home goalkeeper Jack Sillitoe who stopped it with his hands 10 yards outside the area.

Sillitoe was promptly shown a red card and it mean midfielder Greg Williams was forced to take over between the sticks.

And Diamonds took advantage five minutes later when Farrell found Lorraine who smashed the ball home to put them in front.

Ben Heath made a good save from Tre Mitford before the break while Williams denied Ryan Robbins at the other end.

But any hopes the hosts may have had of getting back into the game seemed to have disappeared when they were reduced to nine men as Jack Wood saw red for a second bookable offence in the second half.

And from there it was Williams who was the star of the show as he made a series of fine saves to deny Joel Gyasi, Robbins, Farrell and substitute Darryl Smith.

But Diamonds did find a way through in stoppage-time as Lorraine finally beat Williams from the edge of the box to wrap up the three points.

Diamonds will now be looking to make it a magnificent seven wins in a row on Saturday when they are back on the road, this time at Aylesbury FC.