Rushden & Diamonds 1 Doncaster Rovers 3

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

23rd January 1999 – Nene Park (Attendance: 4577)

Rushden Team: Feuer, Wooding, Bradshaw, Hamsher, Rodwell, Heggs, McElhatton, Butterworth, DeSouza, Foster, Underwood.
Subs: Brady, Cooper, West.

Diamonds Scorers: Nicol o.g.

Webmasters MoM: Paul Underwood

Match Report:

Well it looks like we are back to the Jeckyl and Hyde performances after this inept performance from Diamonds. This was a game that Diamonds needed desperately to win, to cement their challenge at the top of the table, and Donny had to win to move out of the bottom three. Unfortunately for the large crowd that turned up today it was Doncaster who fought hardest for the result, and deservedly got all three points. They scored four times – one on their own goal – and should probably have had more. Diamonds went through the whole game without causing the Donny keeper to make a save, in fact I don’t think they really had any shot at goal whatsoever. This is itself a disgraceful statistic.

We were poor in all departments, the only players doing themselves justice were probably Bradshaw and Underwood. Ian Feuer in goal looked indecisive today, the defence in front of him looked jittery in the extreme, especially from dead-ball situations. The midfield – well did we have one – were poor in the extreme. John Hamsher and Gary Butterworth were very poor, and their first touch abysmal. Carl Heggs did not manage to beat his defender once, and was continually having to play the ball backwards.  Miquel De Souza made a few good turns with the ball but continually ran too far and in to trouble.

Fossy had a nightmare, and I am sure his confidence has deserted him at the moment. He had a glorious chance to put Diamonds level, Donny having grabbed two quick goals after the break, shortly after half time but wasted his effort with only the keeper to beat. Diamonds opener came from a De Souza turn, a hard low shot across the box that Nicol could only turn past his keeper and into the net. But once Donny were in front there was only ever going to be one winner. They looked solid at the back, more creative in midfield, and were much quicker and direct going forward.

Roared on by their magnificent support they strolled through the second half, and it looked like it was Diamonds who were fighting near the foot of the table, not the top. Luckily for Diamonds Cheltenham were also beaten at home today, but both results proved great news for the Poppies whose game at Woking was postponed at half time due to a flood-light failure. So are Diamonds Championship contenders? Certainly not on today’s performance, especially with Yeovil creeping up behind them. The next game for Diamonds in the Conference is against Northwich Victoria, conquerors over Cheltenham today, and they also are tucked in nicely just behind Diamonds. Diamonds have some mouth watering home fixtures still to come, but I don’t see a team winning the Conference having lost as many home games as Diamonds, though I hope I am proved wrong.

Well done Donny and their supporters – you deserved it today!

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