Rushden & Diamonds 4 Sutton United 1

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

FA Cup 4th Qualifying Round

16th October 1999 – Nene Park (Attendance: 2525)

Rushden Team: Turley, Brady, Bradshaw, Peters, Warburton, Butterworth, McElhatton, Hamsher, Town, Collins, Underwood.
Substitutes: Mills, Cramman, Bertocchi, Wooding, De Souza.

Diamonds Scorers: McElhatton (2) 11 and 45 mins, Brady 13 mins and Collins 75 minutes.

Webmasters MoM: Jon Brady

F.A. Cup time again at Nene Park, and how the lads enjoyed themselves this afternoon. They put on a superb show, oozing class to sweep aside a Sutton United team that were one of the current form teams in the Conference. Brian Talbot kept with the same team that beat Kingstonian last weekend, but Miquel De Souza came back from injury to claim a place on the bench.

Diamonds had been given the instruction by BT before the game to avoid a replay, and they came out firing on all cylinders from the start. On 5 minutes a great attack saw Town flying down the right, crossing superbly into the box but no Diamonds player able to get on the end of the cross. Suttons first attack came on 9 minutes and a shot from close range whistled just the right side of Turleys left post. Darren Collins had a great chance to put Diamonds ahead after nine minutes, through on goal from a Brady flicked header the ball was saved at his feet by the out-rushing keeper. Diamonds did not have to wait long to break the deadlock, rattling in two goals in as many minutes. The first saw Town put a great ball out on the right to Brady in acres of space. Out by the corner flag he whipped over a superb cross, right onto the head of Macca loitering in the box. Macca makes no mistake and tucks a great header past the keeper for one nil. Two minutes later Sutton were robbed while trying to clear their lines, the ball was flicked wide to Unders who screamed a cross into the box for Brady to whip home. Diamonds piled on the pressure, incessantly, both flanks being worked and Collins and Town looking dangerous on the run. On 21 minutes Razor flashed a ball wide right to Collins, he turned his defender and passed to Town whose shot was deflected for a corner. Just a minute later Brady laid on a great pass to the overlapping Hamsher whose cross deep into the box was pounced on by Collins and his shot somehow saved by the keeper and turned away for a corner. Turley was not really under any pressure until 32 minutes when he was called upon to block a point blank shot from close range following a lapse of concentration and slack marking from the Diamonds defence. Diamonds continued relentlessly to try and grab more goals. Chances fell to Collins on 33 minutes and 37 minutes. The third goal came right on half time, Town holding the ball up superbly waiting for support, Macca took the ball, ran at the defence and steered the ball wide of the keeper and into the corner of the net.

The second half continued in much the same vein, chances falling for Underwood on 46 minutes – firing wide of the post from 20 yards, Town missing a golden opportunity on 49 minutes after Collins cut the ball back superbly to set him up. But Sutton were allowed to settle, and they had a chance to pull a goal back on 52 minutes putting a header just wide of Turleys post. Sutton pulled a goal back on 53 minutes, a poor clearance and the ball falling nicely for Rowlands who tucked it away from the edge of the box superbly. Underwood though was flying this afternoon, and almost wriggled his way through for a goal on 57 minutes but just failed to get a clean shot in on goal. David Town was booked on 58 minutes for not retreating properly from a free-kick. On 59 minutes Turley was called upon to make a magnificent save at full stretch from a flicked on header, and then on 61 minutes again full stretch to turn away a long range shot for a corner. Diamonds looked at times as though they were trying to walk the ball into the net, they played the ball about the park superbly, almost exhibition stuff at times. On 69 minutes Brady unselfishly pulled the ball back from 6 yards to Town who unfortunately missed the shot completely. A shame really because he works tirelessly upfront, is desperate to score, but at the end of the day will be judged for his place in the team on his goalscoring ability – and its not running right for him at the moment. On 75 minutes though Diamonds grabbed their fourth, Peters putting Darren Collins through, from my view he looked offside but the inconsistent linesman kept the flag down, and Darren brought the ball down superbly and fired past the keeper with power and precision. Diamonds were absolutely cruising, and BT decided to make some substitutions with the job being done. Millsy and De Souza came on for Daz and Butts, and it was only a few minutes before De Souza was unlucky not to make it five as his powerful header on the run from a Town cross was saved somehow by the keeper. Brian Talbot brought on young Michael Berttochi for his debut, replacing Billy Turley on 85 minutes. The final action of the match was a great mazy run from Brady, ending with a shot that just fizzed the wrong side of the far post.

So a great team performance that gets another Cup run underway. There were so many good performances today, Rhino and Brads, Unders and Brady, Macca and Butts, but for my money Brady was outstanding. He took up some great positions, was unafraid to run at defenders, willing to have a shot, and delivered some magnificent crosses. Now its ” Bring on the Scunthorpe” and hopefully another League Scalp will fall at Nene Park.

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