Rushden & Diamonds 2 Telford United 3

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

12th September 1998 – Nene Park (Attendance: 2909)

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

Substitutes: West, McElhatton, Hanlon.

Diamonds Scorers: Foster and Collins

Webmasters MoM: Tim Wooding

Match Report :

By the law of averages, Diamonds were well overdue a poor performance and unfortunately for the good crowd at Nene Park today this was it. The tables and the statisticians all forecast an easy home win for the Diamonds. Someone should have told Telford the plot, because they came to Nene Park and thoroughly justified coming away with the three points, and inflicting Diamonds first loss of the season.

Diamonds started slowly, and allowed Telford a lot of space in the middle of the park. When Diamonds had the ball they were pressured all the way, and this seemed to upset the midfield. There were a few chances early on at both ends, but it was Telford who midway through the first half took the lead, after slack defending from Wilson and Whyte. But to their credit Diamonds then stepped up a gear and had a great final ten minutes of the first half, drawing level from a Fossy header and then going ahead from a cracking Darren Collins goal. This was one of the best seen at Nene Park for a while, as he picked up the ball out on the right, cut inside evading three lunging tackles and then unleashed an unstoppable shot past the keeper, high in to the top of the net. From that point on you could be forgiven for thinking that Diamonds would pull away and the second half would become a formality. But Telford had other ideas.

Slack marking again within minutes of the restart and Telford drew level, and it was no real surprise then that they took the initiative, and started to believe that a result was on the cards. They went ahead after poor slack marking again, with the Diamonds defence in tatters. A defence that in all previous games had looked rock solid, looked totally out of sorts. A team can cope with a couple of players off form at the same time, but when virtually the whole of the back line decide to have a bad one, then you are in trouble deep. Bradshaw and Whyte were poor today, they seemed to lack vision and passes were regularly going astray. Michael Mison was eventually substituted and replaced by Macca, and the crowd showed their agreement with BTs decision. My feelings on Michael Mison have been said on many occasions, and I think that the time is now right to give either Macca or Hanlon a run out. The service from crosses to Collins and Foster was abysmal, as both Brady and Underwood failed to produce much of note. Vandervalden had another impressive game, controlling things when given the time, but the killer ball to Fossy and Collins was not there. This was one of those games where you knew that whatever you did you were fated not to score again. The last ten minutes saw relentless pressure, corners being forced, shots being blocked and cleared off the line. But Telford on the day played out of their skins and thoroughly deserved their win.

So lets hope that this is a “blip” and the show gets back on the road next Saturday up at Doncaster, which will be a difficult match, followed a few days later by a trip to Leek – the scene of some dismal displays in the past. Other than a win for Cheltenham, who look ominous again, results went in Diamonds favour today. Lets wish the lads well next week, and put this game behind us. After all we are still top of the league!

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