Leek Town 2 Rushden & Diamonds 0

Match Report courtesy of Unofficial Rushden & Diamonds Website (1997-2001)

Vauxhall Conference

23.8.97 – Harrison Park (Attendance: 902)

Diamonds Team : Cherry , Hodson, Underwood , Mison, Rodwell, Peaks , Capone , Stott , Collins, Ndah , Cramman . Subs: Chapman .

Webmaster MoM:

Match Report :

Bookings (Diamonds) Rodwell. Man of the Match Kenny Cramman.
Yet another poor performance from the Diamonds team leaves them with no points from the first three matches and even worse having conceded six goals and scored none. What is even more worrying is that they really had only one good attempt on goal, and that was in the 90th minute from Kenny Cramman. The first half was atrocious with a total lack of commitment and no signs of any skill from the players. Leek took control of the midfield and bustled Diamonds aside easily. Leek could have scored three before the inevitable goal came. An attempt by the Diamonds defence to play an offside failed and left the Leek Town winger on his own to chip the ball over Cherry and into an empty net. The pressure showed on the players as they argued amongst themselves as to who was to blame, and the signs that confidence within the team is at a low was for all to see, and Leek to benefit from. Time and time again Leek created good running off the ball, creating acres of space that the final shot failed to exploit. Rodwell was booked for a scything tackle from behind as the half drew to a close with Diamonds hanging on and relief was expressed as the half time whistle went with the team in white only one goal adrift.

As Brian Talbot took to the bench for the second half he was visually extremely disappointed at the first half performance. He said that he was left with little option now to make changes in the second half.

The second half started brighter, and it can be said that Diamonds did take control of the midfield, and put Leek under a great amount of pressure. Corner after corner was achieved, but ignoring a couple of goalmouth scrambles Diamonds never made the keeper make a save.They played much better up to the opposing third and then seemed to lack any idea in front of goal. The introduction of two substitutes for Diamonds, Chapman and Cann , made little impact but showed the determination from Brian Talbot to blood the youngsters if the regulars don’t perform. The second goal from Leek came on 90 minutes and was a glorious shot from way outside the box that gave Cherry no chance. It almost showed Kenny Cramman was needed as within a minute he let fly a shot that the keeper tipped round his post. But why did it take that long to test the keeper. Players that in previous games had been commended for their “telling and accurate” crosses failed to put over one good cross at Leek, either from corners, deadball situations or from the wings. Players who have the ability to take great free-kicks, hoofed aimlessly over the bar or into the defensive wall.

The tide needs to turn quickly and hopefully a win over Hednesford on Monday night will lift the team and restore confidence. The supporters who travelled to Leek, and there were probably 150 plus deserved better than was seen against Leek, as does Brian Talbot and the Football Club. I am sure the tide will turn as the injured players and suspended players return to the first team. Gary Butterworth and Brendan Hackett should be set for a return against Hednesford, and Adrian Foster said after the game that he expects to play in the reserves on Wednesday and if all goes well be available for the first team against Gateshead on Saturday. Best of luck to the team on Monday night, as we will hopefully get those first points and start to move up the table where the club and the supporters deserve to be.


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