Report submitted by Tividale FC

Emirates FA Cup First Qualifying Round

Tividale FC 2 - 3 AFC Rushden & Diamonds

Tividale produced a tremendous performance, led twice but in the end just came up short and succumbed to a hatrick from Diamonds striker Nabil Shariff.

It may have been a touch of "underdog nerves" but it was a sluggish start to the game for Tividale and the Diamonds took full advantage of it and dominated the opening few minutes.

Diamonds striker Chris Dillon saw his effort hit the cross bar and over after just three minutes. Then a Shariff header from a Joe Curtiss corner was cleared off the line by Tividale defender Tom Hurdman. Ben Farrell then somehow scooped the ball high over the bar after being played in by Dillon.

Tividale finally started to get their act together and in the 11th minute had their first chance but Chris Bladen did a Farrell and fired over a Darragh Bustin cross. Farrell then failed to control a cross into the box and again lifted it over the bar. Shariff was then put through on goal but Tividale keeper Ryan Cheshire spread himself brilliantly and blocked the striker's shot.

Tividale were now beginning to become more of an attacking force and Diamonds keeper Ben Heath had to get down sharply to turn a Bustin shot around his far post on 26 minutes. Tividale's pressure brought fruition on the half hour mark when Bladen flicked the ball into the space behind the Diamonds back four and the jet-heeled Dan Smith sprinted on to it and fired across Heath and into the back of the net.

Ryan Cheshire then produced the save of the game in the 41st minute when he flung himself at full stretch across his goal to palm away a Dillon volley that looked destined to hit the back of the net.

Half-time: Tividale 1-0 AFC Rushden & Diamonds.

After the chances they had and missed in the first half it was no surprise that it was going to take a piece of class to get the Diamonds back in the game and on 49 minutes it came.

Ben Ford played the ball into Shariff and he bent a beauty from 25 yards into the top left hand corner of Cheshire's net. The Diamonds were now using the amazing long throw of Sam Brown to put pressure on the home defence and it was from one of these that fell to Dillon but his shot was closed down and cleared.

An attempted Darryl Smith bicycle kick on 53 minutes had Tividale scrambling to clear. in the 62nd minute Tividale were back ahead. A Joe Lawley free kick from the right touchline was headed back across the box from Bladen at the back post and as Heath tried to get back across his goal Smith headed it back over the keeper and into the back of the net.

On 67 minutes it was all square again Shariff side footing home a Joel Gyasi cross. Cheshire did well on 70 minutes to deny a Gyasi effort with a great save.

On 78 minutes Diamonds took the lead. It started with another fine save from Cheshire, this time denying Diamond sub Claudio Hoban but the ball fell to Shariff who managed to stab the ball home at the second attempt.

Tividale had a couple of chances to level the game and both were engineered by substitute Nathan Jones, but both time his left wing crosses were well collected by Heath with Smith waiting to cash in on any mistake.

In the end there was no further addition to the score line and the Diamonds progress into the next round.

Full-time: Tividale 2-3 AFC Rushden & Diamonds.

Tividale: 1.Ryan Cheshire, 2.Tom Hurdman, 3. Darragh Bustin, 4.Karl Gardner, 5.Freddie Watts (16. Elliott Hartley 80), 6.Daniel Wells (15. Daniel Bryson 80), 7.Liam Wilkinson, 8. Curtis Cocking, 9. Chris Bladen (12. Nathan Jones 76), 10. Daniel Smith, 11. Joe Lawley (16. Elliott Hartley 75) Unused subs: 14.Chris Hill, 17. Harvey Walker, 18.Bradley Welding, 19.Tyree Street