Farnborough Town 1 Rushden & Diamonds 2

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

10.10.98 – Cherrywood Road

Diamonds Team…Smith, Hamsher, Underwood, Mison, Rodwell, Whyte, Hanlon, Butterworth, Mehew, Collins, Archer. Subs Foster, Brady, Kyriacou.

Goal scorers and time of goals: RDFC : Rodwell 14 mins, Collins 83 mins

Webmasters Man of the Match award : Richie Hanlon

Match Report :

BT was true to his word and made drastic changes to todays team, seven changes from the team that capitulated to Northwich last weekend. He was rewarded with three points and a battling performance from players desperate to prove their worth. Out went Conference top scorer Foster relegated to the bench along with faded Jon Brady, West and Wilson did not even make the squad, and injuries to McElhatton, Vandervalden and Wooding completed the changes. What we witnessed today was not a championship winning team or performance, but a grafting, determined, battling performance.

For long periods throughout the game Diamonds totally dominated play. They were stronger and quicker, and never let Farnborough settle. Diamonds went ahead in the 14th minute from a rocket Rodwell header, and had further chances to extend the lead but Collins wasted opportunities – one being an open goal after doing the hard work and rounding the keeper only for the ball to bobble as he was about to shoot. Diamonds went in at half time one nil up, but it could so easily have been three. Farnborough had little to offer upfront other than Dennis Bailed who had pace but was probably a bit lightweight against the strong Diamonds defence.

The second half continued in the same vein, hard battling, missed chances, and good saves from the Boro keeper, two from Hanlon and one from Collins. Diamonds had to wait until the 83rd minute before extending their lead through Collins, only for Boro to score in quick reply and keep the pressure on a then jittery defence.

Diamonds held on and deservedly took all the spoils. This game put some heart back in the squad, and must surely have raised the confidence within the squad. It also proved a great decision by BT that could so easily have blown up in his face. Three points were a must today, and with other results going in Diamonds favour, a win at Leek in the re-arranged fixture will see Diamonds back on top of the Conference. I am sure BT will still be searching for new players, but he will sleep easier in his bed tonight knowing that he wont get hassle from the wife about picking crap players.

Performance wise, a superb display from Richie Hanlon in every department, Butts was back with a vengeance – booked after 5 minutes – and showed that although lacking pace and not reading the speed of the game yet after his long layoff, that he is still a major inspiration to the team in midfield.Unders looked shaky in his makeshift position at times but coped well enough with Farnborough, Whyte and Rodwell looked strong and in no danger throughout, and even Mison had one of his better days. Upfront Mehew had a better first half than second, and Collins never gives less than 110%. On the left wing Archer looks capable and showed some very neat skills, but his crosses overall were poor.

Well done lads – now lets do it at home!

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