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.

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