Morecambe 1 Rushden & Diamonds 2

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

21st October 2000 – Christie Park

Diamonds Scorers: Sigere

Match Report by Stefan

The Diamonds crashed to only their second defeat of the season at Morecambe, paying the price for a lack lustre first 45 minutes at Christie Park. Two first half goals were enough to give Morecambe the advantage they needed as they spent much of the second half defending resolutely as the Diamonds searched for an equaliser. It was not to come, however, and in the end Morecambe were good value for the three points which lifted them away from the bottom three in the conference table.

The Diamonds started brightly with Jon Brady missing a glorious chance after only two minutes when he saw his shot well saved by former Diamond, Mark Smith. And Smith was back in action again six minutes later to produce a stunning save from ex-Morecambe goal hero Justin Jackson. From there, however, it was the home side who dominated the first half with some flowing football. Julian Dowe was unlucky not to break the deadlock on 19 minutes with a fierce shot from the edge of the area which beat Billy Turley but crashed against the underside of the crossbar.

Morecambe were not to be denied for long however as they took the lead on 27 minutes. Ryan-Zico Black drilled in a corner from the left which flew across the face of the six yard box before Phil Eastwood tapped in the loose ball at the far post. Morecambe continued to press with Turley saving superbly from Dowe on two occasions and John Hardiker volleying against the foot of the post before Morecambe added a second, eight minutes from the break. Steve Walters curled in a left foot shot from the edge of the box which Turley did well to parry, but the ball rebounded into the path of Black who made no mistake from eight yards out.

The second half saw Diamonds increase their work-rate with Ray Warburton and Gary Mills both going close before they reduced the arrears with a stunning effort on 54 minutes from substitute Jean Michel Sigere. On for Duane Darby, who pulled a hamstring after 20 minutes, Siggy¹ let fly with a superb 35-yard drive which flew into the top left hand corner of Mark Smith’s goal. Minutes later Smith produced a superb double save in beating away a Jackson header and then reacting well again to save at the feet of the busy Jackson.

Morecambe responded by hitting the woodwork for a third time through Walters before the Diamonds dominated the final stages. Two minutes from time Jim Rodwell headed narrowly over, and the visitors had a great chance to equalise three minutes into injury time when substitute Paul Underwood, on for Gary Setchell, headed horribly over the bar when unmarked at the far post.

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