Rushden & Diamonds 1 Hereford United 1

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

26.09.98 – Nene Park (Attendance: 3521)

Team…Smith, Wooding, Bradshaw, McElhatton, Wilson, Whyte, Brady, Vandervalden, Foster, Collins, Underwood. Subs West, Rodwell, Hanlon.

Goal scorers and time of goals: RDFC : Collins

Webmasters Man of the Match award : Tim Wooding

Match Report :

A superb game saw Diamonds held 1-1 by a very good Hereford United team. Though we have not yet seen Cheltenham play against Diamonds, both these teams will be there or thereabouts come May. Overall, and looking at the chances created Diamonds probably shaded it 55% against 45% but there was really not much in it. It was a hard game physically but not a dirty game, with both teams giving 100%.

Hereford went ahead with a dubious penalty decision. The players after the game thought that firstly any challenge was outside the box, and secondly Smudger who was judged the guilty party in a three player collision, actually pulled out of the challenge. But the penalty was given and Hereford superbly stuck it away. Diamonds hit back just before half time, with Darren Collins planting a superb header past the despairing keeper, who was diving full stretch in an attempt to keep the ball out. Half time came with honours even, neither team deserving to be behind.

Diamonds though probably shaved the second half, with Collins twice and Foster once coming close to getting that all important second goal. Smudger also made a superb save late on, and when BT took off Foster and brought on West it always looked like any goal would come from Diamonds. Collins and Brady both blasted over, Collins had a header skim the crossbar, but the game ended all square. Possibly Hereford will feel happier with the result, but Diamonds played relatively well and must consider this as two points dropped. There is not much between the top three or four teams and you must win your home games. On the day the Bulls support was magnificent, baiting of Foster apart. They made themselves heard throughout the game, and were a credit to their Club. We are a young team and a new crowd, but the support shown by the Bulls fans demonstrated what we must aim for.

Individual performances of note came from Carel Vandervalden and Tim Wooding. Tim is having a superb season, and I was surprised that he was not given the sponsors MoM today. He did not put a foot wrong. Wilson and Bradshaw had good games, Chalky was steady, and Smudger did not really have that much to do. Upfront, I think Fossy let the atmosphere get to him and was not firing on all cylinders today. Darren Collins went over on his ankle early on, and coupled with his knee strain, was not as effective as in previous games. The disappointment comes from the lack of quality crosses being put in by Jon Brady and Paul Underwood. This has to improve, if Collins and Foster are to be served better.

Next week sees the visit of Northwich Victoria and nothing less than three points will be good enough.

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