Woking 0 Rushden & Diamonds 0

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

FA Trophy Fourth Round Proper

6th February 1999 – Kingfield Stadium (Attendance: 2800)

Rushden Team: Smith, Wooding, Whyte, Cramman, Rodwell, Hamsher, McElhatton, Butterworth, Collins, Foster, Underwood.
Subs: Brady, De Souza, West, Warburton, Corry.

Webmasters MoM:  Michael McElhatton

Match Report:

Diamonds needed to bounce back from their poor display last Tuesday, and were boosted by some of their injured players being fit enough to take part in this FAT game. Back came Keeny Cramman and Dazza straight into the team, and Razor Warburton to the bench. Just having Dazza involved again obviously gives a lift to the whole team, and it was De Sousa who made way for him.

The first half was pretty much an un-inspiring half. Both teams seemed unable to get a grip in midfield, and Diamonds succeeded in collecting four bookings for senseless fouls, some maybe dealt with a bit harshly by the referee who seemed extremely whistle happy. There were few chances to score at either end and the loudest cheers went up when the referee blew for half time and then the announcement came over the tannoy that the Poppies were losing at home. To be honest there was not too much to talk about in the first half at all. Diamonds worked hard, closed down quickly, and constantly hit the long ball too long, and the neat touches were always taken one too many before a cross came in and possession was lost. At the back Rodders and Whyte were unflappable and Kenny and Tim Wooding never really under pressure.

The second half opened up and it was Diamonds who always looked the more likely to score. Great chances fell to Dazza but unfortunately both were squandered when one on one with the keeper. Macca also came close on two occasions but the shots were blocked and charged down. Collins is obviously slower than we would expect as a result of his long lay off, but the team ticks over much better with him leading the attack. Fossy worked tirelessly but was eventually substituted with De Sousa, who unfortunately hardly got a look in. It must be said however that this Woking side looked very poor. Their distribution and first touch was often abysmal, and I can remember only one chance of note on the Diamonds goal – and Smudger made a great save. In fairness as well Diamonds huffed and puffed but made hard work of creating openings, maybe due to the heavy pitch or maybe lack of vision again from Hamsher and Butts in midfield.

So another draw and a replay next Tuesday that knocks the re-arranged game with Yeovil on the head. This now leaves matches against Dover and Yeovil to be arranged and adds to the fixture pile up. But at least this was a better battling performance from Diamonds, lets hope they can finish the job on Tuesday. It must also be said that there was a great turnout at Kingsfield Stadium from Diamonds fans today, and certainly in the second half they made themselves heard.

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