Woking 0 Rushden & Diamonds 2

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

Vauxhall Conference

14.03.98 – Kingfield Stadium

Diamonds Team : Smith, Wooding, Bradshaw, Cramman, Whyte, Mison, Butterworth, Capone, Mehew, Foster, Underwood, Subs: Cooper, Hamsher, Rawle .

Goal scorers and time of goals: RDFC : Mison 5mins, Foster 90 mins.

Webmaster Diamonds Man of the Match : Darren Bradshaw

Match Report :

This turned out to be a great day for the Diamonds, but started out disappointingly. Why you may ask! Because on turning up at the ground we were told Diamonds fans had been allocated standing room only and more importantly they were not allowed into the clubhouse for a pint. Directions were given to the nearest pub, some mile away. So much for turning up early for a pie and a pint and a natter. Anyway onto the match Report.

Diamonds started the match in great style and from the off set out their stall to attack Woking. In the fifth minute a cross through ball found Mison( in a forward position???) on the right edge of the area and instead of crashing his shot over the bar hit a great shot into the far corner of the net past the despairing keeper.

From then all of the first half belonged to the Diamonds. They played the neater football, using the whole width of the pitch and could have added to their tally as shots and deflections caused chaos in the Woking defence. Capone time and again cut through the defence only for a last minute tackle to deny him space for a shot. New boy Mehew found himself doing a West job, holding up play for Fossy to get into dangerous positions. The defence looked solid and was rarely troubled other than a few goalmouth scrambles. Cramman and Wooding spread wide and both flanks were exploited. Bradshaw and Whyte in the centre were superb, though Underwood didn’t have one of his best games. So Diamonds went into half time with a one goal lead that could so easily have been a three goal advantage.

I expected the second half performance to continue in the same vein, but it was not to be. Woking made a substitution, Capone went off injured, Butterworth got crocked (again) and Diamonds suddenly found themselves on the back foot. Woking sensed an equaliser and pressed forward relentlessly. Diamonds had to endure corner after corner but hung on due to stout defending. Diamonds though always looked dangerous when breaking quickly and it was no surprise when in the latter stages with Woking pushing everything in an attempt to equalise found themselves short at the back. Foster took the ball outside the Woking area, shimmied past two defenders to gain space and fired a rifle shot past the keeper and into the top right corner of the net. No more than he deserved as he ran himself into the ground and chased every ball.

So Diamonds have pushed back into second in the table and pulled back another two points on Halifax. Next weeks game will undoubtedly be a championship decider as a win for Diamonds will bring them to within four points of the leaders. Notable performances today came from Bradshaw and Cramman. Mehew had a tough initiation but performed admirably, while the only worries from the game came from and indifferent performance from Paul Underwood and another injury knock to Butterworth. Collins would have made a greater difference to todays game, but lets not criticise in any way, lets enjoy the Annies putting one over (again!!!) on the “Spiffs”.

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