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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