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

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