Rushden & Diamonds 2 Yeovil Town 2

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

Vauxhall Conference

21.04.98 – Nene Park (Attendance: 1500)

Diamonds Team…Smith,Wooding,Bradshaw,Hamsher,Cramman,Whyte,Capone,Cooper,Mehew,Collins,Hackett Subs: Rodwell,Foster, Kelly.

Goal scorers and time of goals: RDFC : Collins and Mehew

Webmaster Diamonds Man of the Match : Darren Bradshaw

Match Report :

Poor Brian Talbot must be tearing his hair out. Diamonds have done another of their Kamikaze acts, surrendering a two goal lead after a great first half performance to a patchy but impressive Yeovil side. From the start Diamonds looked really up to the task and seemed to have put last Saturdays defeat behind them. They looked secure at the back, Darren Bradshaw again looking a class above the rest, midfield with the introduction of Mark Cooper (returning after suspension) looked lively and Mehew and Collins playing off each other well. It was no surprise when Collins added to his seasons tally after great inter-passing and deft touches from Mehew, and Cooper and Collins heading in from 5 yards. A brilliant team goal but one that was later surpassed by a magnificent chip over the keeper from outside the area by Mehew, scoring his first goal for the club.

There were a few anxious moments in the Diamonds defence as Yeovil, urged on by ex-Diamonds Stott and Hannigan, pushed forward. But Diamonds looked in complete control in the first half,there never looked any likelihood of any result other than an emphatic Diamonds victory.

The second half however was a completely different story. Yeovil came out fighting and tore Diamonds apart. In Ben Smith Yeovil have one of the most exciting Conference players seen this season at Nene Park. When he scored a brilliant opener for Yeovil it was fully deserved. He terrorised the right flank of the Diamonds defence (if one can call it a defence). Yeovil pushed the ball wide at every opportunity realising that Diamonds had no answer to the pace and skill of the Yeovil attack. It was no surprise when Yeovil drew level – it was a surprise however that Yeovil did not go on to win the match. The out-played and out-fought Diamonds in all departments in the second half. It proves how much more difficult it is going to be to get out of this league next season. It is obviously an impossibility with the current squad as it is now. There are just too many weak areas where there is not enough quality in depth cover.

What good points came out of the game for Diamonds?? There were very few but the partnering of Mehew and Collins worked well. In the second half they had no service but the first half was impressive. Darren Bradshaw showed what an abundance of talent he has, and Mark Smith made some great saves. Hamsher worked hard as usual and the long legs of Whyte come in useful. On the down side both Capone and Hackett proved in-effective, Hackett in particular seems to be a liability at the moment. Wooding in particular and Cramman were shown to be severely lacking in pace and were embarrassed on occasions.

Warren Kelly came on and had a reasonable game. I appreciate the injury problem that Diamonds have at present but we have to look forward, and next season it is going to be a more competitive league to get out of than it has been this season. The squad has to be strengthened and Brian has indicated that it will be. He has brought in some quality players to Nene Park and I am sure more will follow. Lets hope he can pick up some bargains like Darren Bradshaw, Mr Consistently Brilliant. ( Three or four should do nicely Brian). Congrats to Yeovil on a great fight back, and to their fans who made the long journey up and got their reward.

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