Barnet 2 Rushden & Diamonds 0

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

LDV Vans Trophy Southern Section, Round 1

28th November 2000 – Underhill (Attendance: 887)

Webmasters MoM: Rodwell

Match Report by Chris

Diamonds crashed out of the LDV Vans Trophy on Tuesday night after conceding two goals in seven first half minutes at Underhill.

Diamonds made three changes from the side that was so unlucky in defeat at Luton Town. Goalkeeper Billy Turley and midfielder Jon Brady were both serving one match suspensions while Paul Underwood was rested. Stuart Naylor replaced Turley; Gary Setchell deputised for Underwood while there was a recall for John Hamsher in place of Brady. On the bench, Diamonds included Youth Team Captain Brett Solkhon; Richard Butcher and young goalkeeper Thomas King.

Diamonds kicked off up the slope and started strongly with Jean – Michel Sigere causing problems for the Barnet defence.

However, it was the home side that took the lead on 22 minutes and the goal had a hint of offside about it when Wayne Purser ran onto a pass and fed Robert Sawyers. Stuart Naylor managed to get a hand on the strikers shot but could only turn to see the ball bounce off a post and into the back of the net.

Diamonds then had skipper Ray Warburton and striker Justin Jackson booked for a foul and unsporting behaviour respectively. As a result, both players will miss the forthcoming Nationwide Variety Trophy game at Kingstonian.

On 29 minutes, Diamonds found themselves further behind. Lee Gledhill provided the cross for the unmarked Purser to head home from six yards.

Diamonds only had one other chance of note in the first half when Gary Mills was high and wide with a long range effort.

Diamonds threw on David Town instead of Warburton on the hour but apart from a couple of Jackson chances and a weak shot from Sigere there was little for the 102 travelling supporters to cheer.

Barnet rarely looked like they were going to extend their lead. Danny Brown headed over while a right wing cross from Purser whistled across the face of the goal with no one on hand to take advantage.

Diamonds last throw of the dice was to send on Brett Solkhon for Mark Peters and Simon Wormull for Jackson but it was not to be.

On Saturday, Diamonds return to Nationwide Conference action when they make the long trip to Dover.

Team: – Naylor, Mustafa, Peters, Hamsher, Rodwell, Warburton, Setchell, Mills, Jackson, Sigere, Burgess

Luton Town 1 Rushden & Diamonds 0

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

FA Cup 1st Round Proper

17th November 2000 – Kenilworth Road (Attendance: 5771)

Webmasters MoM: Mills

Match Report by Chris

Diamonds produce a superb performance at Kenilworth Road but went out of the AXA sponsored FA Cup thanks to a 56 minute Liam George strike.

Diamonds employed a 3 – 5 – 2 formation. Gary Butterworth was ruled out with a hamstring injury so Gary Mills was given the central midfield role. Paul Underwood and Tarkan Mustafa played as wing – backs while Andy Burgess and Jon Brady were employed inside them. Jean – Michel Sigere was used just behind Justin Jackson with Ray Warburton, Mark Peters and Jim Rodwell forming a three-man defence.

Diamonds, defending the goal in front of their own fans, started brightly and forced three quick corners within the first two minutes of play.

At the other end, Billy Turley was quickly called into action pulling off a superb right handed save to turn Kent Karlsen’s 6th minute shot round the post. From the resulting corner, Warburton cleared Mark Stein’s volley off the line.

Four minutes later, Petri Helin gave Liam George a simple chance to put the Hatters in front but the little striker somehow contrived to shoot wide of the left hand post. From that moment until they scored, Luton didn’t have a serious shot on Diamonds goal as the visitors started to dominate the game.

Playing some incisive fast flowing football, Diamonds created several good chances before the interval. Luton appeared to have problems defending a series of inswinging corners and when Brady swung one in on 12th minutes, Sigere headed against the left-hand post before shooting the rebound wide.

That chance spurred Diamonds on. Trickery from Sigere almost put Jackson in before they went close from yet another corner. Brady was again the provider from the left and when Peters header went goalwards, Stuart Fraser deflected the ball onto the post and away from danger.

Good work from Sigere on the half-hour allowed Jackson to check inside Julian Watts before unleashing a shot, which Nathan Abbey could only parry. Abbey did well to block a Mustafa rising shot following one of his trademark mazy runs. On the stroke of half – time, Sigere released Jackson into space, the striker cut inside from the left and when the shot came in, Abbey saved Luton again.

Roared on by their noisy fans, Diamonds continued their offensive in the second half with some exciting attacking football. Sigere missed a glorious 49th minute chance to score when he blasted over from just inside the penalty area while a minute later; Rodwell headed Burgess’s corner into the arms of the keeper.

From another Burgess corner, Warburton got in front of a now hesitant keeper but headed over.

On 54 minutes Diamonds created another wonderful chance for Sigere. Jackson got to the by – line on the right but when the cross came in the Frenchman’s diving header went agonisingly wide.

Completely against the run of play, the home side broke two minutes later and scored what turned out to be the winner. Matthew Spring played the ball over the top of the Diamonds defence; George beat the offside trap and then coolly laid the ball past Turley and into the right hand corner of the net.

Six minutes later, George turned provider but the outstretched leg of Mark Stein could only guide his shot into the side netting.

Again, just like the first half, Diamonds dominated the rest of the half and Turley’s goal was rarely threatened. On 71 minutes, Abbey flapped at a Gary Mills free kick but Karlsen acrobatically cleared off the line. Warburton then headed over from a corner.

Simon Wormull was sent on to replace Mills who left the field to much applause. Following a rare Luton attack, Rodwell produced a great tackle three minutes from time to deny Thomsen. Gary Setchell replaced Peters in the dying seconds as Brian Talbot’s men tried to secure an equaliser but it wasn’t to be. However, it could have been a different story at the death. Turley had made his way up front for a corner when Thomsen seemed to clatter into Warburton but referee Laws gave nothing.

So defeat for Diamonds but they produced arguably their best performance of the season so far. Manager Brian Talbot was understandably proud of his team. “We played very well, we wanted three big headers and we played more in midfield. We played Sigere just behind because we wanted to plug the midfield and get hold of the ball. I think it worked. We’ve been practicing and working on it in training this week”.

Talbot praised all his players but singled out Sigere for special mention. “I thought Sigere was excellent. The only one thing he didn’t do was to score a goal! His football tonight and his appreciation of the game was perhaps the best we’ve seen so far from Jean – Michel.

I think everybody who watched us on television tonight will think what a good football team we have at Rushden & Diamonds”

Gary Mills has picked up a hamstring injury, and Mark Peters broke his nose in the clash with team-mate Billy Turley in the Luton penalty area.

Team: – Turley, Mustafa, Underwood, Mills, Rodwell, Warburton, Peters, Brady, Jackson, Sigere, Burgess

Doncaster Rovers 3 Rushden & Diamonds 2

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

11th November 2000 – Belle Vue (Attendance: 3538)

Diamonds Scorers: Underwood, Brady

Webmasters MoM: Naylor

Match Report by Chris

Rushden & Diamonds suffered their first defeat at Belle View going down by the odd goal in five.

Diamonds made two changes from the side that lost to Yeovil a week earlier. In defence, Mark Peters came in for Ray Warburton while Jean – Michel Sigere replaced hamstring victim Duane Darby up front.

Rushden set up a promising attack after just three minutes leading to Simon Wormull’s long range shot, which was well saved by goalkeeper Barry Richardson.

Wormull was soon to discover that he had just made his first and last contribution to the game following an incident, which was to change the course of the game. On 14 minutes, Mike Turner found himself with just Billy Turley to beat and as he rounded the Diamonds keeper, he was brought down. It was a clear-cut penalty but Rushden suffered a double punishment when Turley was also shown the red card.

Brian Talbot took off Wormull and sent on Stuart Naylor. Unfortunately, the substitute keeper’s first action of the afternoon was to pick the ball out of the net as Paterson slotted home a 16th minute penalty to give Doncaster the lead.

Despite being down to ten men, Diamonds provided the perfect response on 28 minutes when Gary Mills tapped a free kick to Paul Underwood and his low shot escaped the clutches of keeper Richardson and slipped into the net.

But Rushden’s joy was short lived and 4 minutes later the home side was back in front when Tristram Whitman headed home Paterson’s left wing cross with the help of the underside of the bar.

Referee Drysdale ignored appeals for a penalty when Sigere went down in the box while a typical probing run from Tarkan Mustafa ended with a cross, which just eluded Justin Jackson and Gary Setchell.

But on the stroke of half-time, there was further disappointment for Diamonds when Dave Penney scored a third for Doncaster after receiving a free kick from Paterson.

Four minutes into the second half Diamonds made a double substitution bringing on Andy Burgess and Jon Brady for Setchell and Sigere.

Although being a man short, the visitors continued to trouble their opponents and on 52 minutes Richardson denied Jackson by deflecting his shot over the bar. But while Diamonds played the better football it was Naylor who was the busier of the two goalkeepers as Doncaster enjoyed the better of the chances in the second half.

The former Exeter keeper made a fine double save to thwart Turner while in the 77th minute he also denied Whitman and Matt Cauldwell.

Diamonds battled and worked hard in an attempt to reduce the deficit and they were rewarded in the last minute when Brady headed home Mustafa’s cross for his 6th goal of the season. Diamonds went in search of an equaliser but try as they might, it wasn’t to be.

So rare back to back defeats for Diamonds who now take a three-week break from the League. They are next in action on Friday night when they travel to Luton in the first round of the AXA FA Cup.

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

Rushden & Diamonds 1 Yeovil Town 2

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

4th November 2000 – Nene Park (Attendance: 5283)

Diamonds Scorers: Jackson

Webmasters MoM: Mustafa (Never Gave Up)

Match Report by David

The big stage was set for Diamonds’ biggest test in the league this season, against 1st placed Yeovil Town. With only one point separating the two teams, Diamonds could have taken over the leading position in this top-of-the-table clash.

The Diamonds dictated the pace early on and were nearly rewarded with an early goal. Yeovil’s Tom White handled on the edge of the right-hand side of the box. Paul Underwood curled his free-kick round the wall, but the ball whizzed inches past the post. Diamonds continued the pressure and Jackson teased the defence on several occasions, but his progress was halted by some strong challenges.

Yeovil then took control and created some early chances of their own. On 17 minutes, Yeovil had the first real chance of the match, but Gary Setchell blocked Warren Patmore’s shot. Minutes later the Diamonds pressed with a counter-attack, Simon Wormull heading the ball over his marker on the right wing and latching onto the ball as he brushed him aside. He continued his run deep into the Yeovil half, running towards the centre of the pitch towards the penalty area. He spotted Justin Jackson to his right and measured his pass beautifully. A slight hesitation by the Diamonds’ leading goalscorer inside the area gave the Yeovil defence time to get back into position. Jackson struck his shot straight at the keeper, which he comfortably saved.

The first booking of the match came after 25 minutes when Yeovil’s Ben Smith slid in from behind, taking Gary Butterworth’s ankles after Gary had played the ball. Both teams continued to play the ball around and after 30 minutes played, Yeovil had another good chance to score. Warren Patmore’s shot from 6 yards, came off of the underside of the crossbar, back into the danger zone. Gary Butterworth was first to the ball and he cleared it out of play for a corner. Soon after, Jean-Michel Sigere came on for the injured Duane Darby (Hamstring).

Gary Setchell had the next Diamonds chance from 18 yards out, but his shot went well wide of Pennock’s goal. Moments later, Warren Patmore took the lead for Yeovil after he found himself unmarked in penalty area, he cheekily chipped the ball high over the on-rushing Turley into the back of the net. The Diamonds pressed, but couldn’t make the final ball count.

HALF TIME

The Diamonds started the second half much brighter, Jean-Michel Sigere having the first chance of the half, as he carved himself an opening, but shooting straight at Pennock. Moments later Simon Wormull had a similar chance, but his shot was well wide of the goal.

Diamonds had a clear penalty chance turned down by the referee after 53 minutes, as Justin Jackson was brought down just inside the area. The referee waving play-on as he thought that the defender had won the ball.

Diamonds’ lack of domination in the midfield proved to be a major factor in both halves, giving Yeovil more possession and creating more chances. Brian Talbot replaced Simon Wormull with Jon Brady.

On 70 minutes, Jackson scored the equaliser after Pennock had parried Sigere’s venomous strike. The Diamonds continued to surge forward, but were unable to press home their advantage!. Yeovil matched the Diamonds play and were rewarded with a penalty after Warren Patmore’s goal bound header was cleared off the line by the hand of Jon Brady. Brady was sent off for deliberate handball, and Darren Way converted the resulting penalty. Soon after, Brian Talbot swapped Setchell for Burgess, who found it difficult to settle into the game as the clock ticked away.

On 85 minutes, the referee and his assistant missed a trip on Jim Rodwell on the edge of his own penalty area and Yeovil’s Barrington Belgrave almost made it 3-1, but his shot went just past the post.

Still a long way to go in this season, but Yeovil now have the upperhand – 4 points clear and a game in hand. Diamonds will now prepare for their next match against Doncaster Rovers away and hopefully put this disappointing result behind them.

Team: 1.Turley 2.Mustafa 3.Underwood 4.Mills 5.Rodwell 6.Warburton 7.Butterworth 8.Wormull 9.Jackson 10.Darby 11.Setchell

%d bloggers like this: