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

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