Rushden & Diamonds 4 Southport 0

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

28th August 2000 – Nene Park (Attendance: 3574)

Diamonds Scorers: Burgess, Darby, Brady, Jackson.

Webmasters MoM: Brady;

Match Report by Steffan

Diamonds continued their impressive start to the season with a 4-0 win over a much fancied Southport side at Nene Park and the goals continued to come from familiar sources with Darby, Jackson, and Burgess registering on the scoresheet yet again.

The game started scrappily, lacking tempo and with neither side asserting themselves. It was in fact Southport who had the brighter opening and threatened first when Turley had to rush out and smother an attack from Southport striker Simon Parkes after Jackson had lost the ball in midfield after slipping. But no more than 12 minutes had passed before the Diamonds broke the deadlock with probably their first attack. Tarkan Mustafa broke down the right hand side, cut the ball inside to Jon Brady who picked out Darby in the penalty box and his header was powerfully directed into the top corner. 10 minutes later it was Jackson who made sure his strike partner didn’t move to far ahead in the goalscoring chart by grabbing the second, coolly slotting home after pressuring a Southport defender into a weakened headed back pass to keeper Dickinson. Diamonds continued to threaten the Southport goal and Jackson came very close on a couple of occasions, volleying inches wide after a Darby flick-on and at at full stretch from a Brady cross just unable to get real purchase on the ball.

Second half Southport again started the better and it was only good goalkeeping from Billy Turley and brave defence from all of the back four which prevented a number of dangerous Southport cross shots from reaching their targets. After the first 10 minutes though Southports attacking prowess seemed to peter out and it was Diamonds who stepped up a gear with Jackson again coming close with just the keeper to beat and Captain Ray Warburton powerfully heading inches wide from a Jon Brady corner.

Diamond pressure finally told though on 61 minutes when Jon Brady’s cross was met by Andy Burgess after a penetrating run from Mustafa on the right. The teenage winger cheekily flicked the ball with the outside of his left boot past the despairing dive of keeper Dickinson. The game was won but there was time for Brady to add his name to the score sheet, clinically despatching the ball into the top corner after being put in acres of space by man-of-the-match Jackson. Darby left with 10 minutes to go to a standing ovation replaced by Sigere who took up the mantle left by Darby and threatened the Southport goal further.

Another impressive attacking display from the Diamonds, played in front of a crowd of over 3,500.

Team: Turley, Mustafa, Underwood [Setchell], Carey, Rodwell, Warburton, Butterworth, Brady, Jackson, Darby [Sigere], Burgess.

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Dagenham & Redbridge 0 Rushden & Diamonds 2

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

26th August 2000 – Victoria Road (Attendance: 1686)

Diamonds Scorers: Burgess, Darby.

Match Report by Tony

The Diamonds cruised to their third straight win of the season at Victoria Road. The Dagenham stadium is similar to Hayes, with no segregation and a covered terrace the length of the pitch. An excellent turn out of Diamonds fans mingled with the East London contingent who weren’t at nearby Upton Park – making a crowd of 1686.

Diamonds played the same team as at Hednesford with Sean Carey continuing to impress. Most of the early threat was down the right, with Jon Brady maintaining his early season form.

The first goal came on 10 minutes, with a great cross from Skippy being met by a great run from Andy B. Daggers threat was largely contained outside the penalty area, with the two scares being a result of Billy T trying to play the ball around an attacker and then when he picked up what to most seemed a backpass. There was also a lob, which Billy had covered. Another great run from Mustafa, this time with him beating three as he moved infield, resulted in Jacko nearly getting clear, but the goalie made a brave challenge.

After 40 minutes and more pressure, Diamonds won a free kick 15 yards inside their own half. Billy T stepped up to take it, getting the Ball direct to Jacko, who ran to the by-line and pulled back a great ball for Duane Darby to knock home.

In the second half, the first 30 mins belonged to the Daggers. It began with Diamonds trying to play too much football in defence, giving the Daggers a couple of unforced openings. At one point they forced 4 corners in quick succession, one of which was blocked on the line by Andy B, and Billy T pulled off two great saves. With 15 mins to go Diamonds started to threaten again. Firstly Jacko was put through and attempted to get past the goalie, coming down in the challenge. The ref didn’t have Jacko’s pace, but the lineslady indicated “play on” – fair enough in my opinion with a similar view to her. Unders then left to a great reception on 86 mins, being replaced by Setch.

A couple of minutes later Jacko once again beat his marker in the area and was pulled down for a clear penalty. Surprisingly Rodders stepped up to take it and put it too close to the keeper. Darby then showed his strength to beat his man and slip the ball to Skippy, who was just tackled for a corner. Siggy then came on for Darby – who had being playing with great commitment all afternoon, and made an immediate impact – and might have won a further penalty.

The game ended with both sets of fans applauding their teams.

Once again it was a performance where all 11 contributed, and where we had good options to the left, right and down the middle, and barring injuries, one would expect the same team on Monday.

One final word of praise for the match officials – the Ref was able to recognise the solid ball winning tackles and only used his card for indisputable incidents.

So the entertainment level has been maintained – Siggy is even picking up the Smudger role and keeping us entertained at half-time.

Dagenham & Redbridge 0 Rushden & Diamonds 2

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

26th August 2000 – Victoria Road (Attendance: 1686)

Diamonds Scorers: Burgess, Darby.

Match Report by Tony

The Diamonds cruised to their third straight win of the season at Victoria Road. The Dagenham stadium is similar to Hayes, with no segregation and a covered terrace the length of the pitch. An excellent turn out of Diamonds fans mingled with the East London contingent who weren’t at nearby Upton Park – making a crowd of 1686.

Diamonds played the same team as at Hednesford with Sean Carey continuing to impress. Most of the early threat was down the right, with Jon Brady maintaining his early season form.

The first goal came on 10 minutes, with a great cross from Skippy being met by a great run from Andy B. Daggers threat was largely contained outside the penalty area, with the two scares being a result of Billy T trying to play the ball around an attacker and then when he picked up what to most seemed a backpass. There was also a lob, which Billy had covered. Another great run from Mustafa, this time with him beating three as he moved infield, resulted in Jacko nearly getting clear, but the goalie made a brave challenge.

After 40 minutes and more pressure, Diamonds won a free kick 15 yards inside their own half. Billy T stepped up to take it, getting the Ball direct to Jacko, who ran to the by-line and pulled back a great ball for Duane Darby to knock home.

In the second half, the first 30 mins belonged to the Daggers. It began with Diamonds trying to play too much football in defence, giving the Daggers a couple of unforced openings. At one point they forced 4 corners in quick succession, one of which was blocked on the line by Andy B, and Billy T pulled off two great saves. With 15 mins to go Diamonds started to threaten again. Firstly Jacko was put through and attempted to get past the goalie, coming down in the challenge. The ref didn’t have Jacko’s pace, but the lineslady indicated “play on” – fair enough in my opinion with a similar view to her. Unders then left to a great reception on 86 mins, being replaced by Setch.

A couple of minutes later Jacko once again beat his marker in the area and was pulled down for a clear penalty. Surprisingly Rodders stepped up to take it and put it too close to the keeper. Darby then showed his strength to beat his man and slip the ball to Skippy, who was just tackled for a corner. Siggy then came on for Darby – who had being playing with great commitment all afternoon, and made an immediate impact – and might have won a further penalty.

The game ended with both sets of fans applauding their teams.

Once again it was a performance where all 11 contributed, and where we had good options to the left, right and down the middle, and barring injuries, one would expect the same team on Monday.

One final word of praise for the match officials – the Ref was able to recognise the solid ball winning tackles and only used his card for indisputable incidents.

So the entertainment level has been maintained – Siggy is even picking up the Smudger role and keeping us entertained at half-time.

Sports.com Report

Rushden & Diamonds kept up their 100% Conference winning record with a comfortable two-goal victory at Victoria Road in this first-ever meeting with Dagenham & Redbridge.

First-half goals from Andrew Burgess and Duane Darby did the damage for The Diamonds, who even had the luxury of missing a last-minute penalty.

The game started brightly enough for Dagenham when striker Junior McDougald fizzed a ninth-minute right-foot shot just wide of Billy Turley in The Diamonds goal and into the side-netting.

A minute later the Conference table-toppers went ahead. It was a simple goal but one of real quality.

Diamonds’ number nine Justin Jackson held the ball up well on the right flank. He laid the ball back cleverly for his onrunning team-mate Jon Brady. Brady’s swirling right-foot cross was ideal for young Rushden winger Andrew Burgess, who perfectly timed his run, to head powerfully past a helpless Tony Roberts in the home goal.

Rushden thought that they had doubled their advantage when striker Darby headed into an empty net after an excellent Roberts save from the impressive Jackson in the 16th minute. Darby though had crept offside and saw the goal ruled out by referee Mr Crossley.

The nearest newly-promoted Dagenham came to scoring was in the 19th minute when Paul Cobb lobbed over the retreating Turley but unluckily onto the roof of the net.

The Rushden keeper Turley started the move for another well-worked goal four minutes before half-time. The ex-Cobbler fired a long free-kick into the ever-willing Jackson’s path and just inside the opposition’s penalty area. Jackson swivelled and skidded a pass across the six-yard box where Darby was lurking to drill home his third of the season from five yards out.

The Conference new boys started the second half well and after 51 minutes Steve Forbes’ cross was taken off McDougald’s toes by a Diamonds defender. From the resulting Mark Brennan corner, a goalbound Forbes header was cleared off the line by the head of goalscorer Burgess.

A second consecutive corner ended with Dagenham winger Matt Jones planting a header inches past a left-hand upright.

The Daggers best move of the match duly arrived in the 64th minute. McDougald played in striking partner Paul Cobb, who smacked a thunderous half-volley from 20 yards out. Turley tipped the ball over his own crossbar for another Dagenham corner.

Daggers manager Garry Hill brought on all three substitutes as the home side chased for a confidence-boosting opening goal. It wasn’t to be, and the lively Jackson won a dubious 90th-minute penalty, adjudged to have been brought down by Ashley Vickers.

The referee had missed a carbon-copy incident involving the two players seven minutes earlier. Anyhow, it didn’t matter as Jim Rodwell side-footed a lazy penalty straight at Roberts in the Daggers net.

Team: Turley, Mustafa, Underwood, Carey, Rodwell, Warburton, Butterworth, Brady, Jackson, Darby, Burgess. Subs: Setchell, Sigere

Report courtesy of Sports.com

Hednesford Town 2 Rushden & Diamonds 3

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

21st August 2000 – Keys Park

Diamonds Scorers: Darby, Jackson, Burgess.

Match Report by Steffan Doyle

Rushden and Diamonds continued from Saturdays impressive start to the new season with a 3-2 win at Hednesford Town. Hednesford, with two changes from the side that were beaten 4-0 at the weekend by Dover, fielded ex-Diamond players Mark Cooper and Mark Gayle but were over-run in the first by some very impressive Diamond attacking. New signings Duane Darby and Justin Jackson were a constant threat to the Hednesford goal all night, along with teenage winger Andy Burgess, and it was Burgess’ trickery on the left, beating his marker with ease, cutting inside and squaring into a crowded penalty box that set-up a goal for Jackson who was sharpest and volleyed home from close range. Hednesford were very limited in their attacking in the 1st half due to Diamond pressure, but the one clear-cut chance they managed to manufacture resulted in a goal for midfielder Val Owen scrambling the ball in from 6-yards on the third attempt after close range saves from keeper Turley.

Brady and Burgess both came close with chances but it was Darby who grabbed the Diamonds deserved second, volleying home first time on the turn after slow build up on the right and a perfect cross from Tarkan Mustafa.

Second half the Diamonds were less of a force and it was Hednesford who had most of the possession and threatened more yet the diamonds still created chances to extend there lead and put the game beyond the home team.

Predictably, It was Justin Jackson who broke down the right with pace, beating his marker and crossing for Burgess to score an impressive diving header into the top corner. Hednesford pressured further and grabbed a deserved second through a Bagshaw volley after Turley had saved from Owen, but it proved too little too late.

Diamonds fans went home happy, seeing an impressive debut from midfielder Shaun Carey and goals from both their two new strikers for the 2nd game running.

Team: Turley, Mustafa, Underwood, Carey, Rodwell, Warburton, Butterworth, Brady, Jackson, Darby, Burgess [Setchell].

n.b. Darby [dead leg], Burgess [ankle], Underwood [shin splints] and Warburton [knee] all picked up knocks but should be fit for Saturdays game vs Dagenham and Redbridge.

Sports.com Report

In a pulsating game with both teams playing attractive, flowing football it was unfortunate that one team had to lose.

Rushden will find themselves top of the table after their victory over Chester on Saturday and after gaining the three points at Keys Park.

The visitors took the lead after 22 minutes when Andy Burgess accepted a great pass from Jim Rodwell and the cross from the left hand side was met by Justin Jackson who headed home from close range.

The lead only lasted five minutes when Jacob Sedgemore sent a ball from the right that was headed back across goal and Val Owen scrambled the ball home from just three yards out.

The Diamonds regained the lead ten minutes before the break when Tarkan Mustafa crossed from the right. The ball was met by Duane Darby who was delighted to score his second goal for Rushden since joining them from Notts County.

The visitors increased their lead in the 71st minute. Jackson had got behind the Hednesford defence and his cross was met by a diving header from Burgess that flew into the net leaving Hednesford’s keeper Mark Gayle with no chance of saving.

Hednesford could have pulled a goal back right from the kick-off when the ball dropped to Mike Norbury but the ball skipped off his foot and the Diamonds defence cleared.

Then deep in stoppage time Hednesford managed to get a goal back. Owen’s shot was blocked by a defender but fell right into the path of Paul Bagshaw who slotted the ball home from six yards out.

Hednesford Town 2 Rushden & Diamonds 3

Team: Turley, Mustafa, Underwood, Carey, Rodwell, Warburton, Butterworth, Brady, Jackson, Darby, Burgess. Sub: Setchell

Report courtesy of Sports.com

Rushden & Diamonds 2 Chester City 0

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

19th August 2000 – Nene Park (Attendance: 3966)

Diamonds Scorers: Darby, Jackson.

Match Report by Steffan Doyle

Goals from big summer signings Duane Darby and Justin Jackson sealed a satisfying start to the Diamonds’ new campaign. Darby, who had the best of the Diamonds chances, putting two headers fractionally wide in the first half, broke the deadlock, darting to the near post from a Burgess cross to side-foot home, barely a minute into the 2nd half. The Diamonds continued to create the better chances with the ball hitting the Chester bar twice and on both occassions Darby was fractionally beaten to the rebound by quick reactions from Chester defenders. Towards the end Chester applied a little pressure as the diamonds seemed nervous in possession, but from all the pressure they were only able to create 2 clear-cut chances, both of which were saved athletically by keeper Billy Turley. Diamonds fans were whistling for the end as the game ventured into the 3rd minute of injury time, enough time though for Justin Jackson, a constant threat throughout the game, to latch onto a Burgess through ball and seal victory by sliding the ball effortlessly passed Keeper Dickinson.

Team: Turley, Mustafa, Underwood, Mills, Rodwell, Warburton, Butterworth, Brady, Jackson, Darby, Burgess.

 Sports.com Report

Rushden & Diamonds started the season in fine style, defeating Chester City who had last year dropped out of the football league. The match started in a scrappy fashion, and Chester received two bookings in the first five minutes with both Blackburn and Kerr going into the referee’s notebook. Both sides were cagy in the opening stages, and it was not until the 22nd minute when the first clear cut chance was created. It was created when Underwood crossed a fine ball and Darby saw his powerful header go inches wide. A minute later, Rushden skipper Warburton received a booking for a foul on Lancaster. On 28 minutes Darren Wright was inches over with a header after a cross by Doughty.

Rushden should have gone ahead when Darby headed wide with the goal at his mercy. Rushden grabbed the lead two minutes into the second half when Darby stole in at the near post to convert a cross by Burgess. On 51 minutes, Chester Defender Blackburn was lucky to stay on the pitch after he appeared to punch Burgess. Chester came into the game more later in the second half and Billy Turley was forced to make a fine save to deny substitute Mark Beesley.

Chester pushed hard for an equaliser but the Rushden Defence stood firm, and it was the home side who looked the most likely to score. On 75 minutes Brady was just over with a header after another fine cross by teenager Burgess. Rushden came with a late rally and the Chester Defence was under siege in the final 10 minutes, and they were lucky not to concede when Justin Jackson hit the cross bar and Chester Defender Craig Gaunt deflected against his own cross bar. Rushden sealed the game in injury time when Jackson received the ball on the edge of the area in an un-marked position, and he raced on to gleefully shoot home on his debut. He was however booked for his over-indulgent celebrations. Rushden Manager Brian Talbot must have been pleased with the result on the opening day of the season but his side must sustain their attacking play more consistently. Chester Manager Graham Barrow must have been disappointed with his side’s lack lustre performance, although they were depleted with several players out through suspension and injury

Team: Turley, Mustafa, Underwood, Mills, Rodwell, Warburton, Butterworth, Brady, Jackson, Darby, Burgess. Subs: None.

Report courtesy of Sports.com

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