Leyton Orient 2 Rushden & Diamonds 1

By David

For the second time in a week, a minute’s silence was observed in respect for all of the terror victims in the United States on Tuesday morning.

Rushden & Diamonds kicked off this afternoon hoping to get back to winning ways in The Nationwide Division 3 campaign, but it wasn’t to be. In an action-packed match which saw one sending off, several bookings and no less than 4 penalties (one of which was a re-take). The penalty from Hanlon turning out to be just a consolation, but the Diamonds never gave up hope after Turley was sent off on 34 minutes.

The Diamonds had their fair share of the possession in the opening 20 minutes and carried out some fine passing moves. However, it was Orient who took the lead, Diamonds were caught napping as a free-kick was quickly taken on the right side, Billy Turley managed to stop the first effort from Dean Smith, before Ibehre buried the loose ball in the back of the net after 16 minutes.

After 20 minutes, Jean-Michel Sigere got on the end of Brady cross, but could only head wide of the back post. Moments later, Underwood collected the ball on the halfway line and ran at the defence, but his shot was deflected over the bar for a corner.

Orient’s ‘keeper Barrett came to the edge of his box to clear the danger from Partridge, but the ball only managed to reach Mustafa , who tried to take advantage of the situation, but his shot went over the bar.

On 35 minutes, Billy Turley got sent off for the second time in a week for bringing down Jeff Minton in the penalty area. A superb through ball from Leon Constantine split the Diamonds defence in half and put Minton through on goal with only Turley to beat. Turley dived down at Minton’s feet to try to win the ball, but he missed the ball and the referee made no hesitation in sending Turley off. Jean-Michel Sigere was the man who had to make way as Tony Pennock came into the game. Scott Houghton sent Pennock the wrong way and The O’s went into two-goal lead.

At half time, Gary Mills replaced Jon Brady in the midfield.

Both teams started the second half brightly, but it was the Diamonds who had the first effort. A Paul Underwood free-kick was headed across the face of the goal by Barry Hunter to Peters but he couldn’t quite connect with his head. Mark Peters then produced an overhead kick, but the danger was cleared and the home side counter attacked.

After a corner wasn’t cleared by the Diamonds defence, Andy Harris collected the ball inside the penalty area, but his sweet cross could only be headed over by Simon Downer.

After 65 minutes, Scott Barrett in the Orient goal had to be alert when Burgess’ cross cum shot was heading into the bottom corner, he got his hand to the ball and managed to palm the ball out of danger.

A long range effort from Orient’s Andy Harris screwed high and wide of the goal. A bad challenge in the centre of the park, saw Mustafa leave the field hobbling and in agony, and was replaced by Andrew Sambrook.

On 77 minutes, Rushden & Diamonds pulled a goal back through a Ritchie Hanlon penalty. The opportunity came when Hanlon was brought down in the area and a Burgess corner.

Moments later Tony Pennock was adjudged to have brought down Neil Gough in the penalty area, but was only given a yellow card as he wasn’t the last man. Leon Constantine took the spot kick, which Pennock saved. However, the kick had to be re-taken as the referee’s assistant said that Pennock had moved too early. The penalty was re-taken, this time by Minton, and Pennock saved again, this time diving and palming the ball past the post.

Leon Constantine had an effort on 85 minutes, but Pennock saved well again after closing the tall striker down. Diamonds then piled on the pressure in hope of salvaging something from the game.

Four minutes of time were added on at the end of normal time, but the Diamonds failed to get the all-important goal.

MOM: Tony Pennock.

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