Burnley 2 – 3 Rushden & Diamonds

Match Report By David
Rushden & Diamonds’ conquered First Division Burnley at Turf Moor in their first ever game in the Worthington Cup. Goals from Mark Peters, Tarkan Mustafa (his first ever goal for the Club) and Duane Darby gave the Third Division Team a memorable victory which they thoroughly deserved.
Diamonds kicked off wearing the all-yellow strip in their first ever Worthington Cup tie. Billy Turley was called into the frame in the first couple of minutes when good work down the right hand side found Bradley Maylett free at the back post, but his header was saved at the second attempt.
After only 4 minutes, a Jon Brady corner was buried into the back of the net with a Mark Peters bullet header. Burnley almost equalised 3 minutes later, but the linesman’s flag and the fact that the shot went over the bar, meant that the score remained one-nil to the Diamonds.
After 10 minutes of play, the Diamonds almost extended their lead. Another Jon Brady corner, this time from the other side, found the head of Mark Peters again, but this time the ball flew just over the bar.
Six minutes later, a Stuart Gray shot from just outside the area was just tipped past the post by the Burnley ‘keeper. Once Burnley managed to clear the ball, they broke to the other end of the pitch.
A long ball from deep within their own half and over the Diamonds defence, gave Burnley a chance of breaking through, but Tarkan Mustafa managed to get back and put off the Burnley striker with timely, sliding tackle.
Stuart Gray had another chance to double the lead after good hold up play by Justin Jackson. Jackson with his back to goal laid the ball off to the approaching Gray, but his blistering shot went wide of the post.
Burnley’s Papadopoulos should have made the score level, but his free header went well-wide of Turley’s post. Diamonds continued to pressure for their second goal, Justin Jackson was brought down outside the box after brilliant passing between Butterworth, Underwood, Gray and Patmore. The resultant free-kick went inches over the bar from Jon Brady.
Burnley should have equalised with a superb shot at goal, but veteran Garry Butterworth was on the line to clear, however the ball found another Burnley player flying in, but his header went well over the bar.
Great defensive work from the Diamonds kept Burnley at bay. Billy Turley was called into a crucial save with only moments of the first half remaining. Alan Moore ran past the Diamonds defence and was one-on-one with Billy Turley, but Turley got low and stopped the ball. John Mullin beat Turley with a superb header, but the ball wasn’t on target and went wide of the post.
With the second half just a couple of minutes old, Tarkan Mustafa extended the lead with an absolute ripper of a goal. Great passing play between the Diamonds midfield set up the attack, Mustafa got on the end of the ball and took on three Burnley defenders, before firing home into the top corner from the edge of the box, leaving the ‘keeper with no chance.
On the hour mark Burnley halved the deficit through an Alan Moore header after Burnley started to get themselves back into the flow of the game. Even with all of the pressure, Burnley couldn’t capitalise on any of their chances. Duane Darby was brought into the action after 63 minutes, replacing Patmore up front.
After 66 minutes of play, a Stuart Gray free kick went over the bar. Another shot from Gray moments later gave Diamonds another corner, but they couldn’t capitalise. Burnley’s Ian Moore (a substitute brought on at half time), had a good strike from outside the penalty area, but Billy Turley saved well down on the ground.
On 78 minutes, the Diamonds broke against the run of play, Jon Brady found Jackson in acres of space and his run and pass found Darby unmarked at the far post and he smashed the ball home into the roof of the net.
Ian Moore almost scored Burnley’s second of the night, but was denied by the crossbar. Burnley did get another goal with only five minutes left on the clock. Mark McGregor found some space in the area and headed home a looping header that crept in under the crossbar.
Diamonds almost scored their fourth of the night with minutes remaining, but Duane Darby just couldn’t get his head on the end of the ball.

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