Rushden & Diamonds 0 Scarborough Athletic 0

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

29th April 2000 – Nene Park (2641)

Rushden Team: Naylor, Hamsher, Burgess, Mills, Rodwell, Warburton, Wormull, Butterworth, Town, Sigere, Underwood.
Substitutes: Collins, Bertocchi, Brady, Bradshaw, Peters

Webmasters MoM: Butterworth

A couple of changes for the team that was defeated at Southport, but this was always going to be a game in which Diamonds would have to raise their game to try and finish the season on a high. Scarborough came to Nene Park sitting in third place behind Diamonds but they failed to make up ground on their hosts and were probably one of the least impressive sides seen at Nene Park this season. Their football was as un-impressive as the number of visiting fans that came down to follow them – which for a side that has just come down out of the Football League is surprising.

We have had some poor officials down at Nene Park this season but todays “Oompah Lumpah” should really have stayed at Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. He and his officials were extremely poor. He spent most of the first half halting play with mindless whistle blowing, never allowing the game to flow, he missed late tackles and elbows and saw offsides that were not there. To make matters worse in the second half he missed one of the crudest challenges that I have ever witnessed – on young Gary Mills – which left the lad with a split shin pad, a set of stud marks down his shin, a suspected broken leg for which he was taken to hospital, and the referees verdict after the game ” he dived and there was no contact”. A disgrace and hopefully there was a referees assessor at the game. But what of the game I hear you ask! Well it was a poor lack lustre affair where only one team showed any willingness over the 90 minutes to attempt to win the game.

Diamonds had their first attack of the game after 5 minutes when Millsy sent over a great ball into the box which Towny somehow nicked off the head of the better placed Burge. The ball went clear and the panic in the Boro defence was averted. Boro had a half chance themselves just a couple of minutes later when following slick play the chance was hit high and wide. Diamonds best chance of the half came on 17 minutes when Wormy beat the offside trap and raced into the box and towards the line. He cut the ball back superbly for the incoming Siggy who blasted at the keeper who saved well. The rebound came to Towny whose shot was again blocked on the line. The resultant rebound fell to Wormy who blasted wide. Hamster was finding loads of space down the right but too often players were too slow in spotting his positions. Tate for Boro had a shot that was just wide of the post on 30 minutes, but chances at either end were few and far between. Unders hit a shot feebly wide of the goal on 37 minutes and that really was the end of an un-inspiring 45 minutes football.

The second half was pretty much the same. The first 15 minutes was pretty dour, in fact it was more entertaining watching Lady Penelope and Penelope Pitstop marching up and down the South Stand sucking on their lollipops – now there’s a thought! On 59 minutes David Town was substituted and Darren Collins returned to the action after his ankle injury. Siggy was booked on 61 minutes for a tame challenge to become the first Diamonds player of the game to go down in Jimmy Krankies notebook. Siggy almost made amends three minutes later when he flicked on superbly for Daz to run onto. Daz rounded the keeper but was forced wide and his resultant cross was in-accurate and went behind for a goal kick. Daz had another chance five minutes later as Burge on the half way line crossed a great ball forward on to the chest of Daz in the box. He brought the ball down well but his shot was deflected away of a defender for a corner. Jon Brady then came on to replace Simon Wormull, and from here on in it was always Diamonds who were pushing forward, at least looking for the three points. It was on 75 minutes that Millsy’s part in the game, and his season, was finished by an awful tackle which the referee and the linesman both failed to see – the referee being no more than three yards away from the incident. You could hear the contact blow from 30 yards away in the South Stand. So with Millsy stretchered off and taken to hospital on came Brads for a rare outing at Nene Park this year. Darren Collins found himself joining Siggy in the book on 83 minutes but every Diamonds attack seemed to end in a blocked shot – the final flurries coming from a Butts shot deflected for a corner and a Razor header punched out by the keeper from under his cross bar.

The game ended with the referee – using the term loosely – being escorted by his Officials off the pitch to some of the loudest booing heard at Nene Park since a Kettering win announcement, and that goes back a long way! So onward now to Welling on Monday and hopefully at least a point that will secure second spot for Diamonds

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