TOMORROW night (Tuesday), Eynesbury Rovers go to Corby where AFC Rushden & Diamonds play for one of the biggest games of both teams’ seasons so far.
Eynesbury are second and Rushden are third in the race for promotion from Division One of the United Counties League – but it was Eynesbury who inflicted the phoenix club’s first ever defeat when they beat them 4-1 at home back in October.
“People keep on saying to me that it will be a hard game,” said joint Eynesbury manager Martin Field. “But it will be just as hard for them as it is for us.”
Eynesbury have now won 12 of their 14 games this year with just two points dropped in the last 13 games. Saturday’s 1-0 defeat of Rushden & Higham United was perhaps harder work than it ought to have been because of a heavy pitch – but a one-game win is just as good as a nine-point win when it comes to points.
“We should have won more comfortably,” said Field. “But it was another three points. The game should not have been on to be fair, the pitch was really quite bad.”
Making his debut for Rovers was the 19-year-old midfielder Charlie Binns who has joined the club until the end of the season after leaving York City.
With midfielders James Freshwater and Ross West both picking up injuries, the addition of Binns is a Godsend for the manager who says he isn’t expecting to keep hold of the youngster next season. He reckons he’s just too good.
“He’s moved down here to a relative’s for a change of scene after leaving York,” said Field. “He’s a quality player and he was my man of the match on Saturday.
“He’s promised to see the season out with us and he’s a great signing at this stage of the year.”
St Neots under-18s player Dion Sembie-Ferris also made his debut in the game with Jack Werndly recalled by the Saints for their 0-0 draw with Stourbridge and Ben Colmer dropping to the bench.
The only goal of the game came in the 24th minute when Ton Coles’ low cross from the right wing was fumbled by Aaron Doughty in the Rushden goal and Lee Bassett tapped the ball home from close range.
After the break, John Tite shot wide for the visitors, but they had their goalkeeper to thank for keeping them in the game when he tipped Jack Weeden’s shot over the cross bar.
Bassett was denied by Doughty whilst a quick break from Rushden saw the Rovers defence outnumbered but Aaron Cormack shoot wide.
Rovers’ goalkeeper, Alex Taylor, was called into serious action for the first time in the 69th minute when he palmed away a Tyler Merries shot. Rovers then launched a counter attack and another strong run by Weeden finished with his shot being saved by the feet of Doughty.
Coles flicked the ball on for Lee Bassett down the inside left channel but Rovers’ leading marksman took the ball too close to the goalkeeper and his close-range shot was saved.
Colmer came on for Sembie-Ferris and within two minutes he picked the ball up in midfield and, unmarked, ran on goal. His shot was saved by the diving Doughty.
Eynesbury: Alex Taylor, David Fisk, James Ducket, Barry Albone, Darren Woodend, Charlie Binns, Dion Sembie-Ferris (Ben Colmer), Danny Payne (Rob Ducket), Lee Bassett, Tom Coles, Jack Weeden.