Rushden & Diamonds 1 Kidderminster Harriers 1

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

2nd February 1999 – Nene Park (Attendance: 2400)

Rushden Team: Smith, Wooding, Whyte, Wilson, Rodwell, Hamsher, McElhatton, Butterworth, DeSouza, West, Underwood.
Subs: Brady, Heggs, West.

Diamonds Scorer: Foster

Webmasters MoM: Jim Rodwell

Match Report:

Not good enough! Unfortunately they are the facts. Two dropped points tonight against an average Conference team, and title hopes are fast disappearing into the distance. Tonight we got off to a great start with Fossy tucking a great goal away after only 11 minutes, we then had a goal disallowed for offside which must have been a close decision, and from then on when we should have been pushing home the advantage we sat back, turned negative and let Kiddy back into the game. We had chances to extend the lead but again wasted them, either hitting straight at the keeper or wide of the mark. Yet individuals were not playing that bad, we just don’t hack it as a team. Our midfield was non existent tonight and their distribution to the front men was abysmal. Too often it was left to Wilson and Wooding to hump the ball forward – missing out the midfield completely. The crosses put in from Unders were never finding a Diamonds player and John Hamshers nightmare unfortunately continues. There is no creativity in midfield, no-one to hold the ball, play it around, show some skill. Macca works hard but lacks the deft touches needed to create an opening. We so desperately need Van the Man back in midfield and Dazza upfront. When we went in one nil up at half time you could be excused for thinking that the second half would be a formality.

But we were too negative in our approach to this game. Kiddy are an average side, with some good players, but what’s important is they work as a team. They equalized with a brilliant 30 yarder that caught Smudger off his line. But we never really looked like stepping up a gear and turning on the style to push home and take the points. I was disappointed that BT did not set out with three front men from the start to show we meant business. Instead we see Unders playing too deep to be effective, and nobody adding width to the team and getting quality ball in to the front men. When Brady was brought on it really was too little and too late. The crosses continued to be poor and the small Kiddy number 5 continually outjumped De Souza. We were poor in almost every department except the centre back area where Chris Whyte and Rodders were superb.

Where do we go from here? Well I think BT has some serious thinking to do about his team, the balance seems wrong. If Dazza and Van the Man are anywhere near fit he has to bring them back for Saturdays game at Woking. The way things are looking the FAT may be all we have a chance of winning this season. Yes we still have 18 games left of this season, a lot of points to be won – maybe, but we need some consistency and that is something that is desperately lacking. I think that the poor crowd at tonight game is also telling the Club that the performances are just not good enough.

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