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

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