Rushden & Diamonds 1 Yeovil Town 1

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

7th March 2000 – Nene Park (Attendance: 3611)

Rushden Team: Turley, Wooding,Cramman, Rodwell, McElhatton, Butterworth, Warburton, Hamsher, Lowe, De Souza, Underwood.
Substitutes: Peters, Brady, Burgess, Collins, Smith

Diamonds Scorers: Adams (og) 28 mins

Webmasters MoM: Hamsher

This was not the best start to a run of five home games in the Conference. Diamonds kept an un-changed team to that which brought home three points from Kingstonian, but yet again it was Diamonds failure to put the ball in the back of the net that cost them dearly tonight against a spirited Yeovil side. The first half was a non-event from both sides, if anything Yeovil looking much the slicker team, better passing skills and vision off the ball. Patmore again held up play well and Smith looked a danger every time he had the ball. In fact Patmore had two great chances to give Yeovil a first half lead but both headers finished just over the crossbar. Diamonds really only came to life in the last ten minutes of the half, putting Yeovil under constant pressure, and chances went begging from headers that fiirst Jon Brady, and then Miquel De Souza wasted. The sad point of the first half was seeing Macca stretchered off after 35 minutes following a tackle on Patmore that both men felt. Jon Brady came on to replace Macca and the game suddenly started to turn Diamonds way.

The second half was much better for Diamonds. Burge came on for Kenny Cramman and the game changed. The half chances started to come in quick succession, the goal-keeper started to look jittery, and Diamonds started to dominate. It was still Yeovil though who had the first real chance of the half when Patmore headed just over the crossbar froma corner. Diamonds took the lead though on 63 minutes when Hamster got to the bye-line on the right and put over a superb deep cross that was met by Burge and the ball finished in the back of the net. Lowey had a chance on 68 minutes but headed straight at the keeper from a Jon Brady cross. Just a few minutes later there was a goalmouth scramble where the ball just would not fall kindly for the Diamonds attackers in the 6 yard box – it was like pinball – and the ball was eventually turned behind for a corner. Lowey had another chance on 79 minutes but again his shot was fortunately saved by the keeper who was really riding his luck. On 81 minutes Brian Talbot brought on Darren Collins for Miquel De Souza and the pressure was piled on, looking for the second goal that would kill the game. Lowey had yet another chance that was well saved by the keeper on 84 minutes. Diamonds looked in total control and were heading for a well earned three points when tragedy happened. Yeovil had brought on Foster to give them a three man attack, and suddenly it was Diamonds who were getting pegged back. The referee failed to spot a blatant foul in the back on Burgess, and Yeovil progressed upfield and were awarded a corner. Slack marking again was Diamonds downfall as the corner was whipped in near post and a flicked on header from Hayfield flashed into the net with Diamonds defenders standing like statues. Diamonds continued to look for the winning goal but service of quality to the frontmen dried up and the game closed with the points shared.

The players gave their all in the second half, but the lack of that killer instinct in front of goal appears to be Diamonds undoing. Jon Brady was superb after coming on as substitute, hustling, taking people on and getting in some superb crosses – as did John Hamsher. Paul Underwood though seemed to be battling for the same space in the second half as Burge, and was caught out a couple of times in the second half out of position. The back central defenders were superb yet again, limiting Patmore to a couple of chances and forcing Smith to do most of his work at long range. Migs worked really hard upfront with Lowey and showed his pace on a number of occasions, but is not finishing as clinically as he should when presented with chances in the box. With the result at Donny going the way of Kidderminster there can now be no slip ups in the forthcoming home games if this is to continue to be a two horse race for the title. Diamonds are now dependant upon Kiddy slipping up, and with twelve games still to play I am sure there will be a few more twists and turns yet before anything is decided.

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