Kingstonian 2 Rushden & Diamonds 4

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

30th September 2000 – Kingsmeadow

Diamonds Scorers: Brady(2),Jackson, Darby.

Match Report by Conference News

UNBEATEN Rushden & Diamonds underscored their Conference superiority with a superb first-half performance in a six-goal thriller at Kingsmeadow.

But Kingstonian, recovering from a shaky start to the season, came back in the second period and can consider themselves unfortunate to go out losers. The big difference between the teams was Diamonds¹ Justin Jackson, who proved his worth as the most expensive Conference player, with an outstanding performance. It was Jackson who set up Duane Darby for the first goal after 24 minutes and five minutes later Jon Brady pushed in the second after Jackson had touched on a free kick from Andrew Burgess.

Kingstonian came out for the second half determined to turn things around and Geoff Pitcher put them back in the game in the 50th minute with a goal after a shot from David Bass had been only partially cleared. But Jackson in the 75th minute snatched his 10th for the season, after holding off a tackle by Mark Harris but only two minutes later Sam Winston put the K¹s back in the hunt with a shot that was deflected into the net probably off Gary Setchell. Then with six minutes left a 25-yard free kick from Brady sealed the Rushden win, after Gary Patterson had brought down Jackson, getting booked for his efforts. Things could have been better for the Surrey club had they managed to capitalise further on their early second-half endeavour with Pitcher three times going close, even hitting the post in the 70th minute seconds before a Mark Boyce effort had been deflected for a corner. Despite it al,l Rushden emphasised their claims to be considered a class act with Jackson turning in an outstanding performance well supported by Darby and Burgess. Behind them Setchell was impressive in a well-disciplined defence although former Kingstonian favourite Tarkan Mustafa had a subdued afternoon on his first return. Pitcher was again the K¹s outstanding performer, while behind him newcomer Marvin Harriott looked a good acquisition after his free-agent move from Scarborough.

In some ways the defeat does not detract from Kingstonian¹s improvement after a jittery start to the season and manager Geoff Chapple must feel he has something on which to build. Coincidentally he and counterpart Brian Talbot were the previous night awarded merit places in the Non-League Manager of the Year Awards won by Jan Molby of promoted Kidderminster Harriers.

Rushden & Diamonds 2 Dagenham & Redbridge 1

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

26th September 2000 – Nene Park (Attendance: 3037)

Diamonds Scorers: Burgess, Darby.

Webmasters MoM: Mustafa

Match Report by Steffan

Rushden & Diamonds got back to winning ways at home after 3 consecutive draws, edging past an impressive Dagenham & Redbridge side 2-1, but this was by no means a dominating home performance as home fans have come to expect.

Early exchanges were scrappy with Dagenham starting the better but with their first attack, the Diamonds worked away down the right hand side, Jackson linking up with Mustafa to beat his man and square the ball to Duane Darby. Unfortunately the ball fell just behind his strike partner but landed in the path of unmarked Burgess who despatched the ball from 8 yards, giving the keeper no chance.

Celebrations were short lived as Dagenham got a deserved equaliser through Tim Cole. Mark Janney crossed from the right after beating Setchell and found Cole mysteriously unmarked, and he headed into the bottom corner from 6 yards. Dagenham looked dangerous in attack especially from crosses with Cole and Heffer challenging every ball. Junior McDougald was quick and lively all night never giving Diamonds defenders time to settle and extremely threatening when running at goal. Matthew Jones shot over from 18 yards after patient build up from the away team in which the ball must have been touched by at least nine outfield players.

The Diamonds were restricted to half-chances as Dagenham didn’t let the home team get control of the midfield. Carey’s goal bound shot was deflected wide and Setchell had a weak header saved by keeper Roberts. The best chance fell to Duane Darby who was found by a majestic cross from Burgess after excellent work from Jackson, but he unselfishly chose to head his back post header back across goal and the ball was cleared.

Second half the Diamonds seemed back to themselves and after starting much brighter they reclaimed the lead. Jackson beat his man on the edge of the area and was through on goal. He set the ball up on his weaker left foot and his effort was blocked by the keeper but the ball scooped up in the air and fell to Burgess on the edge of the box. The young winger dropped his shoulder, faking a first time volley and nudged the ball forward past the oncoming defender who cropped him, metres from the referee. Although scoring the last penalty against Woking it was not Jackson who stepped up to take the resulting penalty but Duane Darby and he coolly despatched the ball into the top corner thus moving ahead of strike partner Jackson in the scoring charts. Mustafa shot just over from 25 yards after a good solo run on 71 minutes but the remainder of the game belonged to Dagenham. They posed a threat from crosses especially and the Diamonds had to be on their guard at all times. Cole and Jones both came close with late chances but the Diamonds held on and were grateful for all three points. Manager Brian Talbot commented afterwards, “We did well to get a result tonight because we were very fortunate. Dagenham came here to get a result and played very well. They are the best team we have played so far but we didn’t play too well so I am a little disappointed with our performance. We were much better second half but they will be going down the motorway tonight very disappointed because they deserved something out of the game. Unfortunately that is football. Sometimes you get games where you win and you don’t deserve to and we’ve drawn games here against Forest Green and Kettering where we’ve definitely deserved to win and haven’t. I feel these things even themselves out over a season.”

Team: 1. Turley 2. Mustafa 3. Setchell 4. Carey 5. Rodwell 6. Warburton 7. Butterworth 8. Brady 9. Jackson 10. Darby 11. Burgess

Woking 1 Rushden & Diamonds 4

Match Report Courtesy of Sports.Com

Rushden continued their dominance at the Conference summit with a resounding win at basement club Woking.

Brian Talbot’s men, unbeaten this season, started in determined style and Andrew Burgess went close to scoring with a neat flick from John Brady’s cross early on.

But it didn’t take long for the visitors to take the lead. Just nine minutes had elapsed when Shaun Carey’s neat ball forward found Duane Darby in the box.

The striker turned superbly past Scott Smith before planting a firm right foot shot across keeper Mark Ormerod and into the far corner.

Moments earlier Justin Jackson had almost repaid another slice of his huge transfer fee but he could only hit the post with a free header from Brady’s excellent deep cross from wide on the right.

After 15 minutes Woking should have equalised after a short period of sustained pressure. Jamie Pitman’s tenacity won him the ball out on the right, he set up Steve Perkins for the cross and when Mark Watson headed back across goal Steve West should have done better than head wide from three yards.

The visitors should have been two up soon after when Burgess shot tamely past the upright after Jackson had put him clear following some neat footwork.

As Diamonds kept the pressure they hit the woodwork for the second time. Another deep cross, this time from Tarkan Mustafa, found Darby completely alone in the box and his expertly directed header was brilliantly turned on to the post by Ormerod.

Unfortunately for the former Brighton keeper his error led to Rushden’s second on 34 minutes. Jackson’s forceful run down the right saw him put in a low cross to the near post.

Ormerod spilled it and Brady rammed home his shot to make it 2-0.

Watson’s overhead kick flew narrowly over on the stroke of half-time, but it was Diamonds who went into the break deservedly in front.

After just two minutes of the restart Woking’s misery continued when Diamonds increased their lead. Jim Rodwell’s cross from the left found Darby unmarked again and this time he made no mistake, heading past Ormerod for his second.

As the Cardinals created a rare moment of danger, Jackson curled just wide after 73 minutes, but Woking did get on the scoresheet at last when West headed home Pitman’s cross to reduce the deficit.

Scott Steele brought a wonderful save from Billy Turley in the 82nd minute, but it was Rushden who sealed the result with a late Jackson penalty to make it 4-1

Scarborough Athletic 0 Rushden & Diamonds 3

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

12th September 2000 – McCain Stadium (Attendance: 1107)

Diamonds Scorers: Warburton, Town, Jackson

Webmasters MoM: Carey/Jackson;

Match Report by Steffan

Rushden & Diamonds bounced back from the disappointment of two successive home draws in emphatic style with a 3-0 away win at Scarborough. Jean Michel Sigere was the only change to a settled Diamonds starting eleven, given his first start of the season after Top scorer Duane Darby was unable to recover from a slight knock to his Achilles.

Diamonds ‘set there stall out’ within the first minute as Midfielder Jon Brady curled a free-kick over the wall but inches wide of post. Diamonds pressed further with intricate, fluid passing which would have graced any nationwide league fixture and were rewarded on 10 minutes through an unlikely source. Given a free-kick just inside there own half, Jim Rodwell caught the opposition of guard, sliding the ball down the right to Tarkan Mustafa as the Boro players expected the ball to be slung into the box. Mustafa, in acres of space, approached the Scarborough box ominously and delivered a pin-point cross onto the head of captain Ray Warburton who’s header squeezed in between goalkeeper and post.

Throughout the first half, although not creating too many clear-cut chances the Diamonds were impressive indeed. Justin Jackson tirelessly made himself available down the channels and was excellently found by the dominant midfield pairing of Carey and Butterworth. Mustafa and Underwood penetrated both flanks with great effect and the movement off the ball, quick passing and hard work ethics instilled by manager Talbot surfaced in all eleven players throughout the first half.

Sigere, Carey and Jackson all came close with half chances before Chris Tait threatened for Boro, volleying one half chance over and forcing keeper Turley into a comfortable near post save with another effort.

Second half the Diamonds started in much the same vain with Brady and Burgess coming close, thwarted by good Boro defending but the second half panned out to be much more of an even battle.

Given a corner a 68 minutes, Boro came dangerously close to an equaliser as the ball was floated in, Turley only half punched the ball clear under intense pressure and the follow up lofted across the box and bounced inches from the line with no Boro player there to convert.

Minutes later Diamonds killed off the game through substitute David Town. Jackson, like so many times this season, turned provider,attacking down the left flank with pace beating his man and crossing to Town, making his first appearance for the 1st team this season, who darted across the front of his marker and met the ball powerfully with a diving header giving the goalkeeper no chance.

Boro heads dropped as they could see no way back and Jackson then got his just rewards for 90 minutes of unselfish play, skipping past keeper and slotting home after being put through from a slide rule pass from Gary Butterworth.

Boro had one last attack, Turley turning a free-kick around the post, but the night belonged to the Diamonds.

Team: 1. Turley 2. Mustafa 3. Underwood 4. Carey [MIlls] 5. Rodwell 6. Warburton 7. Butterworth 8. Brady 9. Jackson 10. Sigere [Town] 11. Burgess [Setchell]

Rushden & Diamonds 0 Forest Green Rovers 0

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

9th September 2000 – Nene Park (Attendance: 3325)

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

Subs:Sigere, Mills, Setchell, Peters, Naylor

Webmasters MoM: Rodwell;

Match Report by Greg

Diamonds faced lowly placed Forest Green with yet another un-changed team for todays game with Razor and Unders still carrying injuries but Brian Talbot not wishing to change a winning team.

Forest Green had come for a draw and set their stall out accordingly, but Diamonds totally dominated the first half, a half that saw them have 14 chances on goal. How the half time score line remained at 0-0 is beyond belief. Chances were falling to Diamonds front men every few minutes as Diamonds tore Forest Green to shreds. Unfortunately for Diamonds though poor finishing, bad luck and good defending on the line the scoreline remained blank. Forest Green were restricted to a chance on 12 minutes that Billy Turley tipped over, and then right on half time ex-Diamond Adrian Foster cleverly slipped his marker only to shoot wide across goal with Billy Turley looking beaten.

Second half Forest Green continued with their battle plan, five across the middle of the park and just one upfront in an effort to stifle Diamonds feeding of the front men – and it worked. Diamonds were made to suffer frustration as the chances dried up. The best effort of the second half fell to Butts who had a magnificent goalbound header turned around the post by Nigel Spink. The substitution of Siggy for Duane Darby and Setch for Unders failed to add any sparks to the play and Diamonds spluttered to a final score of 0-0.

So four home points now dropped from the last two games and difficult away games coming up on Tuesday at Scarborough and Saturday at Woking.

Rushden & Diamonds 2 Stevenage Borough 2

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

5th September 2000 – Nene Park (Attendance: 4048)

Diamonds Scorers: Burgess and Jackson.

Webmasters MoM: Jackson;

Match Report by Steffan

Rushden and Diamonds surrendered their 100% record to a 90th minute og at Nene Park tonight.

In an game lacking fluency, it was Stevenage who took the lead in a hectic three minute spell in the first half through Darren Hay after Defender Paul Underwood and Striker Justin Jackson had troubled Stevenage keeper Taylor with long range drives. The Stevenage striker found himself in acres of space to volley home after Boro’s midfielder was given similar room to cross on the right hand side.

Diamonds were level 9 minutes later on the half hour mark though as Burgess notched his 4th of the season with probably his second touch of the game, cheekily flicking the ball home from two yards from a Jon Brady corner as the ball by passed the melee of players in the box.

Diamonds had greater possession for the remainder of the second half but were lucky not to be behind again as it took an acrobatic save from Billy Turley to deny a audacious chip from Darren Hay.

Second half the Diamonds again started brightest and were in front within 4 minutes through Justin Jackson. Collecting the ball at half way from Shaun Carey, he ran at the Stevenage defence twisting and turning before finally beating the retreating Bunce with ease and despatching the ball past Taylor into the top corner for his 4th of the season.

Diamonds created one or two half chances as the game wore on but never really took control and at the death Stevenage piled on the pressure, with 4 corners in a row and it finally told as Boro drove the ball into the crowded penalty area where it fired through a melee of players and was cruelly deflected past the hapless Turley.

Telford United 1 Rushden & Diamonds 2

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

2nd September 2000 at Worcester

Diamonds Scorers: Brady, Darby.

Match Report by Steffan

Rushden and Diamonds came from behind to win this early season top-of-the-table clash with Telford at Worcester with Duane Darby netting the late winner, his 5th in as many games.

The game was probably the Diamonds sternest test so far against a Telford side who have just turned full-time and it showed in a first half dominated by the ‘home’ side.

Ex-Notts county striker Gary Martindale, a constant menace all afternoon, had two great chances in the first 10 minutes.One headed effort looping over a scrambling Turley and a close range volley, only prevented from breaking the deadlock by desperate Diamond defence.

Ex-Sheffield Utd defender Brian Gayle, who battled all afternoon with Darby nearly got one over on his opposite number, glancing a header just wide of Turley’s post but Telford pressure finally told on 26 minutes as striker Steve Palmer volleyed home after darting across the box in front of his marker, giving Turley no chance.

It wasn’t until the 42nd minute until the Diamonds came close to troubling Telford keeper Ryan Price as Gary Butterworth let fly from 25yards after excellent hold-up play by Darby.

Whatever boss Talbot said at half time worked as the Diamonds were level within 2 minutes of the restart. Jon Brady curling a free-kick which seemed to go through keeper price and into the bottom corner after Butterworth was fouled. This signalled the arrival of Diamonds as an attacking force and on 53 minutes Darby should have made it two. The Diamonds built the move up slowly on the right hand side before the impressive Brady found Darby unmarked on the back post but unfortunately he sent his first time volley into orbit from 6 yards.

The Telford goal was now under siege as Brady delivered a succession of 4 corners in which a Ray Warburton header was cleared off the line and Shaun Carey volleyed into the ground at close range after a good knock down from Darby.

Telford rarely threatened and when they did the Diamonds defence remained resolute.

Telford keeper Price tipped over a long range effort from Burgess and when midfielder Carey put a free header wide from 6 yards Diamond fans must have been thinking it just wasn’t going to be their day. But up stepped Conference hot shot Darby in the 81 st minute, blasting a volley into the top corner from 12 yards after good pressure from Sigere sending the Diamond faithful crazy and justifying the chants of ‘we are top of the league’ were cheakily adopted by the Telford fans for much of the game.

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