Yeovil Town 0 Rushden & Diamonds 0

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

21st April 2001 – Huish Park (Attendance: 8,868)

Webmaster’s MoM: Warburton

Match Report by Andrew

Diamonds earned a valuable point at Huish Park on Saturday afternoon in front of a ground record crowd of 8,868. The result keeps Diamonds three points clear of Yeovil at the top of the Nationwide Conference. Both teams are in action again on Tuesday night – Diamonds at home to Telford, Yeovil away at Leigh RMI.

Brian Talbot made one change from the side which started against Doncaster Rovers on Monday, Gary Mills replacing Shaun Carey. Paul Underwood made a welcome return to the substitutes’ bench.

Diamonds had an early chance to take the lead when Duane Darby just failed to connect with a Jon Brady cross, Terry Skiverton doing well to put the striker under pressure.

Captain Ray Warburton then saw a header cleared off the line, Skiverton again the thorn in the Diamonds side.

Skiverton himself then had the first chance for Yeovil, his header clearing Billy Turley’s bar. Justin Jackson had a shot on goal saved by Tony Pennock before the Welsh goalkeeper had to be alert to tip a Burgess piledriver over the bar.

Yeovil’s chances suffered a setback on 28 minutes when Warren Patmore limped out of the action, but his replacement James Bent almost made an immediate impact forcing Turley into a point-blank save. Jon Brady then had a chance at the other end but his shot went over the bar. Before the half-time break Gary Mills shot over from distance before Barrington Belgrave did likewise for Yeovil.

The home side were quickest out of the blocks for the second half and put Diamonds under extensive pressure. Skiverton fired a header straight at Turley, Michael McInode fired over from 25 yards out and Nick Crittenden’s effort went inches wide of the post.

Diamonds weathered the storm though and almost took the lead on the hour mark, but Pennock produced a wonder save to keep out Duane Darby’s header. Burgess then saw a header just clear Pennock’s crossbar after a great cross from Brady.

Diamonds continued to press forward and when Stuart Gray’s shot was blocked, Gary Mills also saw his follow-up kept out by the Yeovil defence.

The visitors suffered a double blow when in the space of a couple of minutes Ray Warburton and Duane Darby both left the action, the captain on a stretcher. Paul Underwood replaced Darby to play the final moments in a striking role.

In the dying seconds of six minutes of stoppage time, Turley produced a magnificent save to keep out Tom White and Yeovil knew their last chance had gone.

This game was never going to be a title decider, and the result maintains the status quo at the top of the table, but with two home games to come next week, Diamonds will feel that they are firmly in the driving seat.

Diamonds: Turley, Mustafa, Gray, Mills, Peters, Warburton, Butterworth, Brady, Jackson, Darby, Burgess. Subs: Sigere, Rodwell, Wormull, Underwood, Bossu.

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