Rushden & Diamonds 1 Scarborough United 0

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

17th February 2001 – Nene Park (Attendance:3,553)

Diamonds Scorers: Burgess

Webmaster’s MoM: Burgess

Match Report by Andrew

Andy Burgess’s eighth goal of the season gave Diamonds three hard-earned points against a resolute Scarborough at Nene Park on Saturday afternoon.

Victory was no more than Diamonds deserved as they completely dominated the match from start to finish. Indeed, had Andy Woods not performed such heroics in the Scarborough goal, the game may have been out of sight before the interval.

Brian Talbot made the one expected change to the Diamonds line-up with Paul Underwood returning in place of Gary Setchell. Setchell dropped down to the bench with Richard Butcher missing out.

Referee Ian Williamson was first into action when he cautioned Denny Ingram inside two minutes after the visiting skipper had been beaten for pace by Andy Burgess. In fact it was Burgess who had the first real shot of the game on 13 minutes when he tried to chip Woods from 25 yards.

Ten minutes later, Mark Peters glanced a header wide from a Burgess corner before Ray Warburton, on the edge of the penalty area, saw a volley deflected wide by Woods.

The game was now being played almost entirely in the Scarborough half as the North Yorkshire side failed to deal with the pace and trickery of Diamonds. Burgess saw an effort blocked while moments later Paul Underwood’s shot was deflected wide.

On 29 minutes, Woods produced a superb save to deny Diamonds. Burgess stretched and managed to get a foot to Justin Jackson’s left wing cross. Somehow a wrong-footed Woods was able to change direction and made the save look easy. Shaun Carey had a 30 yard shot deflected wide of goal by Di Lella while Burgess’s spectacular overhead kick just cleared the woodwork.

As the half drew to a close, it was Duane Darby’s turn to be denied. Peters headed a Burgess corner back across goal and Woods produced a point blank save to palm away Darby’s bullet header. Six minutes from the interval, Jackson’s pace took him clear of the Scarborough’s defence but he was thwarted by Woods who recovered to catch the deflected cross under his own crossbar.

The second half carried on in much the same vein as the first with Scarborough offering little threat up front. Burgess saw a header go over and just before the hour; Jackson fired over from a Darby knockdown.

It took the visitors 61 minutes to test Billy Turley but such was the speed of the break that it almost caught Diamonds cold. Impressive teenager David Pounder made excellent ground up the middle of the park and laid the ball to on-loan Gerrard Robinson but with just the keeper to beat, Billy Turley made a fine block.

Seconds later Woods and Ingram got in each others way from Jackson’s cross and gave away a corner. Darby had a chance but headed over from a Brady free-kick. It was the last piece of action for the Australian with Simon Wormull put into the fray by Brian Talbot on 65 minutes.

On 69 minutes, Carey’s 18 yard shot was deflected for a corner by Gareth Stoker but 3 minutes later the breakthrough finally arrived. Peters found Garry Butterworth on the right and when the cross came in, Burgess pounced on defensive frailty to volley home superbly.

Gary Setchell replaced the injured Paul Underwood on 77 minutes while Roy Essandoh came on for his home debut 5 minutes later. But try as Scarborough did, they couldn¹t make any impression on the Diamonds defence.

So it’s 8 games unbeaten as Diamonds preserved their undefeated start to the New Year and maintained their challenge for the Conference title. On Tuesday, its another home game and another battle with struggling Northwich Victoria the visitors. If Diamonds can create the same number of chances as they did on Saturday then they won’t go far wrong!

Diamonds: Turley, Mustafa, Underwood, Carey, Peters, Warburton, Butterworth, Brady, Jackson, Darby, Burgess. Subs: Essandoh (for Darby), Rodwell, Setchell (for Underwood), Wormull (for Brady), Naylor.

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