Rushden & Diamonds 4 Hayes 0

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

31st October 2000 – Nene Park (Attendance: 2568)

Diamonds Scorers: Jackson, Wormull, Sigere (2)

Webmasters MoM: Wormull

Match Report by Stefan

The Diamonds prepared for Saturdays top-of-the-table clash with Yeovil in fine style with a comprehensive win over Hayes at Nene Park. And manager Brian Talbot can be pleased not only with four goals unanswered goals after Saturdays cup exploits but the manner with which his team cruised to victory.

In the end it could have been seven or eight for the home team but it didn’t start that way. Hayes started much the brighter side and for the first 10 minutes the Diamonds were not at the races. Hayes’ Barry Moore had Turley scrambling across his goal from a short corner in the 5th minute but after Jacko struck the bar when one-on-one with the keeper on 13 minutes it was all the Diamonds.

Two minutes later the Diamonds made the vital breakthrough, with Jackson making no mistake this time. With just keeper Hodson to beat he grabbed his 10th league goal of the season, lobbing the onrushing keeper with his left foot. The goal came about from a Hayes attack which Paul Underwood broke down with a well timed tackle and man-of-the-match Simon Wormull collected the ball before delivering the perfect through ball over the Hayes defence for Jackson to run on to.

The Diamonds, probably more relaxed from making the initial breakthrough, began to play some attractive and effective football. A great move in which Gary Butterworth was the main architect resulted in Setchell pulling a golden chance agonisingly wide before the Diamonds grabbed a second through Wormull. A long ball from Turley was chased down by Jackson who in turn found Mustafa on the right hand side. Attempting to penetrate the Hayes left flank he attacked and as the challenges came in the ball kindly broke to Jackson in the box. Remaining composed and alert Jackson found Wormull lurking on the edge of the box and he drilled a right foot shot into keepers right hand corner.

Sigere and Setchell both came close to adding to the Diamonds tally but were thwarted by a mixture of good goalkeeping and resolute defending but on the half hour mark they grabbed number three. From a corner, captain Ray Warburton rose like a salmon and headed the ball powerfully goalwards from no more than 8 yards out. Unfortunately for Warburton the ball struck a Diamonds player standing on the line with no chance of getting out the way. The ball spooned in the air and Jean Michel Sigere was on hand to convert the chance, deserved for Warburtons heroics.

Hodson again denied Setchell from his second in as many games just before half-time and after grabbing his first on Saturday, Setchell certainly has the taste for goals in his new found freedom in a left midfield birth.

Second half keeper Hodson was again kept very busy as both Jackson and Sigere failed to convert chances with just the Hayes keeper to beat. Youngster Gary Mills presented Jackson with another golden opportunity to score as the ball broke to the striker in space in the area after Mills attacking run from the half-way line, but again he couldn’t get the better of Hodson.

Midway through the second half the Diamonds, not surprisingly, eased up a little, but it was more a case of them losing concentration than Hayes getting more a grip of the game. When losing the ball the Diamonds battled and won it back denying the opposition any easy way to goal.

The increased involvement of Tarkan Mustafa second half excited the home fans and it was one of his trademark forrays down the right hand side and a pin point cross which led to Sigere grabbing his second of the night and his fourth in five games with a magnificent diving header.

The Diamonds closed their account for the evening with the only blemish being that they squandered awful lot of chances. A commodity which is unlikely to be as plentiful on Saturday against league leaders Yeovil. As for Hayes, their consolation is that in central defender Dominic Sterling, they have a very promising star for the future.

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

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