Rushden & Diamonds 3 Welling 1

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

18th August 1998 – Nene Park (Attendance: 2400)

Rushden Team: Gayle, Wooding, Bradshaw, Mison, Wilson, Whyte, Brady, Vandervalden, West, Collins, Underwood.
Subs: Mehew, Foster, Hanlon.

Diamonds Scorers: Collins(2), Foster.

Webmasters MoM: Paul Wilson

Match Report:

Diamonds picked up maximum points tonight, but put on a patchy performance for the home fans. Two goals for Darren Collins in the first half, and one for Foster late in the second half give a slightly flattering scoreline. Diamonds started off very well and in the opening minutes could have scored twice.  An early opener for Collins, one on one with the keeper, suggested this could be a high scoring game with lots of chances, but it turned out not to go according to the script. Welling played very well, particularly in midfield and upfront, but were susceptible to the quick break beating the offside trap. Collins added his second again with a one on one against the keeper after bright interpassing involving Mison. So a two nil lead at half time and the prospect of more to come.

But it was Welling who picked up the pace in the second half as Diamonds sat back too deep and let Welling come at them. There were a few scares before Welling got their deserved goal, a mistake by Gayle, a floundering defence, and a simple headed knock in. Sloppy defending allowing a lifeline to Welling and causing a few jitters at the Diamonds rear. West was replaced by Foster and the Diamonds attack suddenly was given the added dimension of pace and width. Fossie may not hold up the play as well as West, but you have more options up front with Fossies speed of thinking and lightening quick turns. Fossy got his just rewards with a goal to ease the nerves, being put through and managing to squeeze the ball between keeper and post. In fact the ball went in off the keepers right hand post, agonisingly slowly. From then on the game was killed off and the result never in question.

Performance wise in was an average team performance , though they are still gelling together. Individually there were no bad performances, but only a couple to excite. Paul Wilson in defence was superb, Brady in midfield shone, and Vandervalden so skillful a Contract must be offered. His skill on the ball, clinical passing, battling spirit, and willingness to have a crack on sight of goal is a welcome sight at Nene Park. There does however seem an in-ability sometimes from his fellow players to read the game as well as he does. This causes in my opinion an un-willingness on their part to pass to him as often as they should. On the down side, Michael Mison has still not got his act together and it can only be a matter of time before BT gives Ritchie Hanlon a run out. Although Mison is a firm favourite of Talbots, and he supports him to the end, his patience must eventually wear thin.

So another maximum points reward but a lack-luster performance overall. Saturday seems an opportunity for another three points at the expense of Barrow, and then comes a tricky away visit to Kingstonian.

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