Rushden & Diamonds 2 Plymouth Argyle 3

Match Report By Andrew

Brian Talbot made two changes to his matchday squad which drew at Macclesfield on Saturday, Duane Darby replacing Warren Patmore in the starting line up and Jean-Michel Sigere given a place on the substitutes bench. Despite taking a two goal lead, the Pilgrims came back to clinch a 3-2 win.

The first half was an entertaining, end-to-end affair with the visitors clearly intent on pushing forward. They had the first shot on target when Billy Turley had to be alert to save a strong shot from Wills.

Diamonds responded instantly and Paul Underwood’s mazy run was only stopped by a last-ditch tackle. Argyle continued to press and Evens, Wotton and Phillips all had efforts on goal.

But it was the home side who came closest to breaking the deadlock when Stuart Gray saw a shot from the edge of the area rebound off Larrieu’s post, but the first goal came on the half-hour. Mark Peters powered a header onto the bar from a Jon Brady corner, and Darby was on hand to bundle in the rebound.
The shock to their system only served to jolt Argyle further and a cross-cum-shot by Adams was well tipped over by Turley. Diamonds increased their advantage on 42 minutes when sloppy defending allowed Darby to turn and fire into Larrieu’s left-hand corner.
The response from the visitors was to reduce the arrears in stoppage time, Evans heading home a Wotton free-kick.

The second period was just six minutes old when Plymouth levelled. After a period of pressure, Coughlan headed home Wills’ corner which had evaded the home defence.

The goalscorer then returned to his usual defensive duties to clear a Darby header off the line, and Underwood then saw his free-kick well saved by Larrieu.

The French ‘keeper then produced a stunning reflex stop to deny Peters and seconds later the defender’s header crashed back off the woodwork. Plymouth thought they had taken the lead on the hour mark but the referee ruled that Turley had been fouled when dealing with a hanging cross from Beswetherick.

Gray retired from the action on 64 minutes, replaced by Gary Setchell. With 20 minutes remaining, Justin Jackson got away from his marker but Larrieu produced another fine save to keep the scores level, and it was to prove crucial seconds later when McGlinchey thundered home a drive from inside the area.

Diamonds needed a goal, and Brian Talbot decided to replace Jackson with Sigere in an effort to find it. Everything bar the proverbial kitchen sink was thrown at the Plymouth defence in the closing stages but the equaliser just wouldn’t come.

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