Manager Garry Haylock kept the same starting XI who had taken on and more than matched table toppers AFC Wimbledon on Tuesday evening at Church Road for this tough trip to Nene Park.
Early play was to be dominated by the home side but for all their possession the no entry sign was well and truly displayed on the United goal.
Diamonds first creative flow was after just five minutes when Justin Miller crossed to Matt Johnson but his header from twelve yards was wide of the target. The home side went close in the 12th minute when an Alan Power corner was met by Ryan Charles whose header looked destined for the top corner only for a superb diving stop by Delroy Preddie who clawed the ball away, and when Michael Gash returned it to the centre Charlie Wassmer was on hand to clear his lines.
Still the home side pushed forwards with Eddie Oshodi heading a Power free-kick just wide of the target. The 20th minute saw the appearance of a towel to dry the ball for Justin Miller's long throw, a towel that mysteriously disappeared during the second half when Nathan Webb wanted to use it (very sporting - not) !!! The throw itself was flicked on by Gash to his skipper Aaron O'Connor but again his shot was off target and did not trouble Preddie.
Having absorbed the early pressure, United started to find some forward thrust of their own. Jefferson Louis did well with his back to goal to hold up the ball before hitting a shot on the turn that was wide of goal. Then on 36 minutes the home crowd were stunned when United took the lead. Andy Yiadom worked his way in from the left before unleashing a 20 yard shot that flew into the top corner giving Diamonds keeper Joe Day no chance and also gave Yiadom his first senior goal for United.
The home side were soon back on the attack searching for a quick equaliser. Curtis Osano hit a dipping drive from 30 yards that just cleared the United goal and then an ill judged Wassmer back-pass saw O'Connor clean through against Preddie but the United keeper dived to his right to make an excellent save before jumping on the loose ball.
Preddie was finally to be beaten in the 45th minute though when O'Connor found space on the left and cut back the ball for Gash to run onto, his powerful downward header flying past the United stopper.
While a number of chance has presented in the first half, the second period was quiet at times with neither side creating enough to secure all three points. United did however have the ball in the net in the 55th minute, Yiadom's cross from the right was inadvertently helped on by a defender and Adam Green threw himself into a diving header at the far post that looked destined for goal only to be denied by a full length tip away by Day. The loose ball was controlled and rolled home by Pritchard but he was denied by a raised flag for offside.
Just a minute later United skipper Peter Holmes was to test Day as a free-kick from halfway was chested down by Louis, Holmes' shot from 20 yards being well held by the home keeper.
Diamonds main threat was coming from dead ball kicks by Power. Midway through the half he picked out Gash he headed over and after a period of stagnation, Power picked up a loose ball on the edge of the area but the pace was taken off the shot by Adam Bygrave's interception and Preddie gathered.
Two minutes remained and United went so close to taking the spoils. Nathan Webb won possession on the halfway line before picking out Louis across the field, the former Diamond cut inside and hit a 20 yard shot that went agonisingly wide of the upright.
Report by Kevin Watts.
Photos by Ray Peploe.
United Man of the Match: Jefferson Louis.