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.
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