Southport 1 Rushden & Diamonds 3

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

6th January 2001 – Haig Avenue (Attendance: 2,255)

Diamonds Scorers: Jackson (2), Burgess

Webmaster’s MoM: Jackson

Match Report by Andrew

Diamonds earned a vital three points and moved to within four points of Yeovil Town at the top of the Nationwide Conference after two goals from Justin Jackson and one from Andy Burgess earned a 3-1 win against third-placed Southport at Haig Avenue.

For this Conference Match of the Day, Brian Talbot named an unchanged starting line-up for the third consecutive game.

The first 45 minutes was a tale of two goalkeeping errors. Diamonds attempts to establish clear daylight between themselves and their hosts got off to the best possible start after just 13 minutes. The Southport keeper wanted too much time to clear his lines and Justin Jackson was left with an open goal to put Diamonds ahead. However, the lead lasted for just three minutes. Billy Turley failed to gather a cross from the left and Chris Lane was left with the easiest of chances to level the scores.

The most memorable incident of the half came just before the break when Dino Maamria launched himself into a tackle on Tarkan Mustafa that would have looked more at home in a Kung Fu video, but amazingly the referee only gave him a yellow card – see a video of the incident here.

That’s how it remained at half-time despite further chances for both sides, but Diamonds were quickest into their stride after the interval and were back in the lead after 55 minutes thanks to Andy Burgess’s header from a Jackson cross.

The lead was nearly wiped out on the hour mark but a superb goalline clearance from Garry Butterworth kept Diamonds noses in front.

The points were secured four minutes from time when Jackson grabbed his second of the afternoon. Diamonds had been under a bit of pressure but counter-attacked and when Jackson received Duane Darby’s pass he made no mistake.

Diamonds Team: Turley, Mustafa, Underwood, Carey, Rodwell, Warburton, Butterworth, Brady, Jackson, Darby, Burgess. Subs: Sigere, Peters, Butcher, Setchell, Rogers.

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