Rushden & Diamonds 2 Leek Town 0

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

13th March 1999 – Nene Park (Attendance: 2860)

Rushden Team: Smith, Heggs, Bradshaw, Warburton, Rodwell, Brady, McElhatton, Cooper, Foster, Collins, Underwood.
Subs: Mamsher, Whyte, De Souza.

Diamonds Scorers: McElhatton, Collins.

Webmasters MoM: McElhatton

Match Report:

Diamonds keep the pressure on Kettering and Cheltenham with a great 2-0 win against bogey side Leek Town. The only change from the team that beat Stevenage Borough was the recall of Unders to replace Kenny Cramman.

Diamonds dominated the first half without really impressing. They were very slow in playing the ball forward to the front men, Collins and Foster. The two seemed so intent on not getting caught offside that they were constantly seen to be running back towards their own goal and the defenders and midfield sat too long on the ball. When it did come the Leek defenders were quick to close down the attackers and they made it very difficult for the Diamonds front men. The ball from Unders on the left was very poor, and Skippy on the right seemed loathe to attack the defenders, but when the crosses came into the box Diamonds looked dangerous. The woodwork saved Leek Town in the first half, as shots from Collins and Foster, and a Collins header struck the wood and bounced out from the goal. Diamonds, though not playing well could consider themselves unlucky not to have gone in at half time with at least a two goal lead.

The second half belonged to Diamonds as they came out fired up. It was no surprise when a cross into the box was passed on by Heggs to Macca, Heggs appeared to handle the ball from my position, but Macca made no mistake by blasting the ball past the keeper and into the net. When Darren Collins added Diamonds second shortly afterwards Diamonds were cruising. Smudger had to make a few saves, and always looked confident in his box, taking all crosses superbly. Anyone doubting BTs commitment should have seen the joy on his face as Collins and Macca found the net. Fossy worked tirelessly upfront, particularly in the second half and was unlucky not to bag a brace himself. He was later substituted, with De Souza taking his place, and De Souza was unlucky not to put Diamonds further in front when his header shaved the upright.

So in the end a good performance, particularly second half, and another three points. The defence looked solid, though Rodders looked uncomfortable clearing his lines at times. Brads and Razor marshalled the back line superbly, Macca and Coops ran the midfield, and Heggsy, Daz and Fozzy all looked up for it today. Skippy and Unders lacked the first touch today, and I don’t think Unders had one decent run at a defender. Its now Dover on Tuesday and another difficult game, but who is taking bets on Diamonds being out of it now!

The support of the lads was great today, especially from the De Banke and the new drum. The drum was great, but we could do with hearing it more often lads. Should be even better when we get one in the South Stand as well!!!

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