Rushden & Diamonds 5 Hayes 0

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

31.08.98 – Nene Park (Attendance: 3208)

Diamonds Team…Gayle, Wooding, Bradshaw, Mison, Wilson, Rodwell, Brady, Vandervalden, Foster, Collins, Underwood. Subs Archer, McElhatton, Hanlon.

Goal scorers and time of goals: RDFC : Collins (2) Foster(2) Wooding (1).

Webmasters Man of the Match award : Darren Bradshaw

Match Report :

Diamonds unbeaten run, and maximum points from six games, continues as this afternoon we saw the demolition of Hayes. Last season Hayes came to Nene Park and took our backline to the cleaners. There were no such mistakes today, as Diamonds eventually ran away with the game. But it could have been so different if Hayes had of stuck away a penalty that they were awarded in the first half. That would have brought them level, to a Darren Collins header superbly tucked away at the near post following constant pressure down the right, and a resultant corner taken by Unders. Instead we witnessed one of the worst penalties seen at Nene Park for many years. It was hit so wide and high that it was laughable. That miss came at a point where Hayes were actually starting to threaten a little, and make you nervous that Diamonds had only achieved a one goal lead. That lead saw Diamonds go in at half time obviously confident in their ability to play a passing game that would eventually wear down the Hayes midfield and defence. And that was how the game proceeded in the second half.

Other than a header that skimmed the crossbar with 2 minutes to go, and one fine save by Mark Gayle, the second half belonged solely to Diamonds. Foster and Collins upfront looked sharp, Fossy bagging a second half brace, Darren grabbing a second, and even Tim Wooding claiming a goal (his third this season). This now gives Diamonds 20 goals scored so far this season and only 2 conceded. And doesn’t it show. The defence look rock solid, with Bradshaw controlling things, Tim pushing forward on the right, Paul Wilson finding acres of space on the left, and Rodders coming into the team and doing a superb job in the Centre. Rodders didn’t put a foot wrong and in my opinion was nudging Darren for the MoM award. I thought Vandervalden and Brady looked very good in patches, Brady in particular putting in some excellent crosses, Even Michael Mison had a good game today – maybe being substituted on Saturday against Southport has hit a nerve with him. Upfront Fossy and Darren worked their socks off. I don’t think Darren is firing on all cylinders yet, so watch out when he is.

Next week sees a difficult game away at Yeovil, one of the possible contenders for the “hot spot”.But with confidence running so high who would bet against a result for the Diamonds. Hopefully there will be a large support travelling down to cheer on the lads. Also with regards todays game it was great to see a better crowd attendance, and I feel a better atmosphere. With regards the “anthem” on scoring a goal, my family class it a hit, and I am sure that most of the South Stand feel the same. Maybe its a bit “razz a ma Tazz” but the De Banke must admit that this noise is better than no noise. Keep it going Dean, and we may even start singing next!

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