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.

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