Rushden & Diamonds 1 Telford United 1

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

17th August 1999 – Nene Park (Attendance 2729)

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

Telford Team : Williams, Travis, Sandwith, McCauley, Bentley, Fowler, Doyle, Fitzpatrick, Malkin, McGorry, Murphy..

Diamonds Scorers: Mison 41 mins

Webmasters MoM: Paul Underwood

Diamonds played host tonight to bogey team Telford United, and despite having most of the play surrendered a lead to a supergoal scored by Telford. But it could have been so different had the luck run for Diamonds tonight. I am sure many of the crowd will be going home disappointed tonight at the loss of two points at home, but Diamonds will play worse than this and win over the coming months.

Diamonds started the first half very brightly, and Town had a great shot from the right hit the post after only four minutes – the rebound hooked away for a corner. A header from Mison on just 5 minutes was placed wide of the upright. The first ten minutes of the game saw some great crosses coming into the box from Unders and Tim Wooding, quality that was missing last weekend at Morecambe. Cooper came close on 17 minutes after a free kick into the box found him stretching, and just unable to get a clean shot in. The ball ended up just going over the crossbar. Telford’s first real attack came on 20 minutes when a header on target was saved easily by Turley. On 24 minutes a great cross, 25 yards across the face of the goal, by Coops found Town un-marked on the edge of the box, and his volley was hit on target, the keeper doing well to hang on to the vicious shot, with Mison coming in to sniff out any fumble. Telford looked very lively and sharp upfront, breaking quick from defence, but their shooting was a little wayward. Macca had a volley which rose just over the crossbar on 31 minutes, and with the heavens opening, the pitch getting slippery, it was always likely that a mistake would occur in one of the defences, and on 41 minutes that is what happened. Underwood found himself in space and a great through ball sent him racing to the edge of the box, the keeper came out to meet him with a defender but the ball bobbled free. Unders picked it up on the bye line and put a great low cross into the box, and on to the foot of Mison who calmly placed the ball into the net. Diamonds finished the half on a high with both Town and Underwood going close to increase the lead.

So Diamonds one up, and looking comfortable. But they did not know what was to await them on 51 minutes. A superb goal for Telford, reminiscent of the Unders goal at Leek last season – 25 yards out, curling and dipping, gave Turley no chance. Possibly one of the best seen at Nene Park for a few seasons. Diamonds though kept battling away, pressurising, but the chances that came their way were not taken. A header by Mison on 57 minutes, Cooper hitting the post, Town almost getting the ball into the net on 64 minutes after a mess-up by the keeper and a defender. The chances were there but luck was not running for the team in white. Then twenty minutes into the second half Turley was made to make a cracking save, tipping a great shot over the bar. On 73 minutes Mison had a great chance to regain the lead for Diamonds, finding himself with the ball at his feet, and clear through on goal he headed to the edge of the area, but as he drew his foot back to hit the shot it was nicked away by a chasing defender. Cooper was replaced by De Souza on 75 minutes, and Sale came on for Mison on 80 minutes in a last ditch attempt to gain all three points but it was not to be. Sale had a couple of headers saved, and a couple of shots that fizzed past the post, and despite the constant pressure in the last ten minutes, Telford hung on for a share of the spoils.

I think Diamonds can consider themselves a little unlucky tonight. Another day they would have sunk the chances and run out easy winners, but Telford are no mugs and will upset a lot of teams this season. They work very hard, and the front men were very lively. Diamonds looked the classier of the sides but take nothing away from Telford’s battling performance. Diamonds are never going to concede many goals playing the formation, and with the quality of players that we have at the back and in midfield. The problem is that this system of play limits the attacking options. Other than the wonder shot that Telford scored with Diamonds looked reasonable comfortable for most of the game. But its goals that we need if we are to progress up the table, and a bit of luck. Hopefully things will go better against Kidderminster on Saturday, and we can get our first win under our belts.

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