Morecambe 0 Rushden & Diamonds 0

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

14th August 1999 – Christie Park (Attendance 1797)

Rushden Team : Turley, Wooding, Bradshaw, Peters, Rodwell, Cooper, Butterworth, McElhatton, Town, Mison, Underwood. Substitutes Mills, Sale, Brady, Smith, Collins.

Webmasters MoM: Billy Turley

Rushden & Diamonds opened their campaign today against Morecambe, away at Christie Park. They earned a point in a 0-0 draw. The first half opened very brightly for Diamonds, and Cooper had a half chance on only 4 minutes, his shot going wide of the goal, after great work by Mison holding up the ball. Two chances fell to David Town early on, the first on 7 minutes after a fumble by the keeper, which was given offside anyway, and the second a half chance after Mison knocked down a great ball to his feet, he took a few jinks, but hit the shot straight to the keeper. On 10 minutes Mison found himself in some space and as defenders backed away he wasted the opportunity mis-hitting his shot wide of the goal. On 14 minutes Mison became the first Diamonds player this season to be yellow carded, presumably for something that he said to the referee. Diamonds were having so much possession, but the ball in the final third was very poor. It was 23 minutes before Morecambe had their first serious attack, and this gave them confidence and they pulled their way back in to the game. On 30 minutes Billy Turley made a great save at the feet of the Morecambe Number 9 who was clear through on goal with only Turley to beat, and then on 32 minutes Turley made a fingertip save which you will not see bettered in any League, for a large keeper he launches himself superbly. On 36 minutes Diamonds had their last chance of the half, as Town picked up the ball, dribbled mazily past three defenders, sent in a great hard low cross, that Mison just got a touch too but could not steer it goalwards.

The second half turned out to be a bit of a disappointment by comparison, but again it could have been so different had Coops managed to get to a great through ball into the box only a minutes of the second half played. On 48 minutes another mazy run from Town into the box saw him brought down, but the referee waved away requests for a penalty. On 53 minutes Diamonds defence seemed to lose concentration and Morecambe had a chance to test Turley, but took too long to shoot and the ball was blocked. Brian Talbot made a change on 60 minutes bringing on Collins and Sale, and taking off Mison and Cooper. The formation changed from 3-5-2 to a 3-4-3 Collins taking the right side, but it failed to make any impact. The service from midfield remained poor to the front men, especially from the right. Diamonds lost momentum and Morecambe came much more to the fore, and probably shaded the half. In the latter stages Diamonds pushed forward in earnest but the last third was their downfall, no quality service, and attackers looking static at times. Interestingly Billy Turley did not have a save to make in the second half, but then neither did the Morecambe keeper!

Notable performances today from MoM Billy Turley, Rhino Peters and Brads looked solid, Rodders worked hard and played it simple – clearing quickly when required. In midfield we look so strong, Butts magnificent and Coops and Maccs well disciplined today. The wing backs a bit disappointing particularly second half. Towner looks real class, Mison caused problems but at the moment does not think quick enough as a striker, but it will come. He is always in the danger area and ran himself all over the park. Well done Mison. Darren and Saley struggled when they came on not taking to the three men upfront roles very well.

A special mention should be made to the Diamonds fans who travelled, and were superb with their singing throughout the game. Speaking to Talbot after the game he heaped immense praise on them, and said the lads really appreciated it, and were sorry that they could not give them the 3 points we all wanted.

The next two games for Diamonds are at home, Telford on Tuesday night and Kiddy on Saturday. Lets hope the crowds are good and equally vociferous as the away fans at Morecambe.

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