Kidderminster Harriers 0 Rushden & Diamonds 0

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

13th February 1999 – Aggborough (Attendance: 2773)

Rushden Team: Smith, Heggs, Warburton, Whyte, Rodwell, Brady, McElhatton, Butterworth, Collins, De Souza.
Subs: Hamsher, Cooper, Foster.

Webmasters MoM: Michael McElhatton

Match Report:

Brian Talbot decided during the week to change his formation for this game and play a 5-3-2 but it failed to turn the game into a much required win for Diamonds. In past seasons we would have been happy with a point away at Kiddy, and last season we were complaining that we did not manage to draw enough games away from home. This season our away form is very good, if not the performances, and its been our home results that have let us down. This draw virtually wipes out any chance of promotion this season, requiring us to win virtually all of our remaining 17 games if we are to reach the points total that should ensure the Championship this season. I am sure that over the next few weeks we will start to see the rebuilding and re-structuring for next season.

Neither team today really looked like taking the game by the scruff of the neck. The two best chances fell to Diamonds with De Souza hitting the post and Collins and then De Souza again, failing to tuck the ball away. Other than those little flurries the game was a negating game, as Diamonds failed to command midfield, again, and seemed content to soak up pressure on the defence and hoof the ball away anywhere. Time and time again clearances were hurried and fell straight to a Kiddy player. Macca got himself booked and will now face a one game suspension, Darren Collins was lucky not to get sent off as he clattered a nasty tackle from behind on a Kiddy defender, and Jon Brady was lucky not to get booked for abusing the linesman on the far side on more than one occasion. All in all another lack-luster performance, with the midfield non-existent apart from Macca who seemed to be the only player willing to try and give some support to the front men. When we played the ball about we looked quite good, but every move seemed to end with the hopeful punt upfield. No vision – no Vandervalden!

So where from here! Even the most optimistic supporter must know that our season is over, and any chance of the title has disappeared to the Robins. Welling on Tuesday in normal circumstances should have been a formality, but the stakes now are not so high – you get nothing for finishing second, let alone sixth. I am sure the plans will now go into operation to start work on preparing a squad capable to do the “biz” next season.

What we don’t want to see again, either this season or next, is an exhibition similar to that which disgraced the Club after this match had finished, when louts purporting to be Diamonds “supporters” turned on the team by the tunnel and verbally screamed abuse at the players. These people are not wanted at the Club, and have let Max down badly by their behaviour.

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