Needham Market FC 2
AFC Rushden & Diamonds 2
AFC Rushden & Diamonds took a deserved point from Needham Market after battling from behind twice to salvage a draw.
Ravi Shamsi made his debut for Diamonds but saw the home side take a 14th minute lead. Luke Ingram was played in on goal rounded Dean Snedker and bundled home. Diamonds responded well and were level on 27 minutes with a great Jesse Akubuine finish from a Ravi Shamsi through ball.
Diamonds best spell into half-time saw Ravi Shamsi, Nathan Tshikuna and Will Jones all spurn excellent chances.
The home side started the second half as brightly as they had the first and re took the lead on 54 minutes through a Luke Ingram penalty.
Diamonds struggled to impose themselves on the game in the second half although Will Jones and substitute Connor Furlong had close efforts.
Late pressure earned an 89th minute corner that saw Alex Collard head home to earn a deserved point for Diamonds.
It was a combative yet creative display which Andy Peaks and his coaching staff will be encouraged by.
Match Report: Joseph McCormack