Rushden & Diamonds 2 Woking 1

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

Vauxhall Conference

04.10.97 – Nene Park (Attendance: 2839 )

Diamonds Team : Watts, Hackett, Cramman, Mison, Fuff, Whyte, Kelly, Butterworth, Foster, Collins, Underwood, Subs: Wooding, Hamsher, Rawle.

Goal scorers and time of goals: RDFC : Foster 90 mins, Mison 16 mins

Webmaster Man of the Match: Adrian Foster

Match Report : A large crowd turned up on a glorious autumn afternoon to see if Diamonds could put some of their worries to one side and move up the table. Diamonds, having got three points from their last two away games, now returned to the scene of a few weeks ago where they let in five goals to what must be said was an average Farnborough team. Woking would surely provide a yardstick to how the new men brought in to bolster the defence would face up to the task. For the first fifteen minutes Diamonds could hardly get a touch of the ball as Woking passed the ball around the park, or at least the Diamonds half of the Park. However on 16 minutes a delightful cross from a free kick into the Woking penalty was stuck away by Mison. It seemed so easy! Seconds later Collins was through with only the keeper to beat but failed to hit the back of the net. A costly mistake because four minutes later Woking were level, the defence again lacking. It seemed that yet again missed opportunities may prove costly.

From here on in it was all Diamonds pressure, but without real penetration, the final ball always lacking. Hackett and Cramman struggled to find any rhythm and it was left to Gary Butterworth to orchestrate proceedings from the middle of the park. Kelly looked competent in the centre of defence without really sparkling, and Glen Fuff looked slightly out of his depth at times, with hasty clearances failing to find their targets. At half time the teams retired at one a piece, in what was a fairly even match.

The second half proved to be all Diamonds. Darren Collins missed another sitter with only the keeper to beat, and on seventy minutes Diamonds really turned up the heat. Having penned Woking into their own penalty area shots rained in on the Woking goal. Clearances off the line and the woodwork saved Woking from caving in from the onslaught. But it looked as though the defence of Woking would hang on for a point. At seventy five minutes BT played his trump card in taking off Brendan Hackett, who appeared to be asked to play out of position, and introduced super-sub Mark Rawle. The young player was asked to play up front between Collins and Foster. On a couple of occasions he showed his control on the ball and his skill in having the ability to turn his man. On 90 minutes he picked up a pass , turned his man and bore down on goal. With Cramman screaming for a pass on his left and Foster wide on the right, he elected to play the ball to Foster, who in a flash shot across the keeper with a vicious drive and collected all three points for the Diamonds.

Foster fully deserved the goal as reward for his tireless effort during the game. He covered every blade of grass up front, chasing every loose ball and not giving up on anything. He kept the pressure on the Woking defence from start to finish, and providing he stays away from injury and bookings, I would be surprised if he does not get 20-25 goals this season. He is class, has skill in abundance and will prove to be a great favourite at Nene Park.

This result moves Diamonds up to 11th position, and a win on Saturday against Hereford will see the Diamonds move up to their highest position in the Conference, if the other results go our way. I dont think we have seen a “great ” conference team yet this season, which shows how tight it could be approaching the run-in next year. Lets not get carried away with one result, but the signs are there and it would be nice to finish top five, wouldn’t it. Who knows?

I think also that the Woking supporters did their team proud today, turning up in large numbers, and giving their team vocal support throughout the game. Well done Woking!


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