Rushden & Diamonds 0 Torquay United 0

by Andrew

Diamonds were left to rue another night of frustration at a wet and windy Nene Park on Tuesday, but at least the recent run of defeats came to an end with this goalless draw against a dogged Torquay United.

Brian Talbot made three changes from the starting line-up at Leyton Orient, two enforced and one tactical. Andy Sambrook and Garry Butterworth replaced the injured Tarkan Mustafa and Paul Underwood, while Simon Wormull came in for Jon Brady. In addition to Sambrook, it was also Barry Hunter and Scott Partridge’s home debuts for Diamonds, plus Ritchie Hanlon’s first game at Nene Park since re-joining the club from Peterborough United.

Diamonds had the better of the first-half chances with Hanlon going close twice, Jean-Michel Sigere missing a couple of good opportunities, the best when through one-on-one with Kevin Dearden, and Andy Burgess also headed wide just before the break. At the other end, Diamonds were grateful to Butterworth for a superb goalline clearance, and to Billy Turley for a sharp save from a shot on the turn by Lee Canoville.

The second half saw less clear-cut goalscoring chances, although Sigere will feel he should have at least tested the ‘keeper when slicing wide in space after a good run by Partridge. Hunter drew applause from the 3,258 crowd with a last-ditch tackle on David Graham after a slip by Mark Peters let in the Torquay substitute.

Robert Duffy was given his senior home debut as a late replacement for Sigere, as Brian Talbot tried everything to bring about the breakthrough. It almost came with six minutes remaining when the best chance of the night fell to new boy Partridge. A thunderous free-kick by Hanlon brought an excellent save from Dearden but the ‘keeper couldn’t hold onto the ball. The rebound fell to Partridge just a couple of yards from goal but he sliced his effort wide.

Diamonds: Turley, Peters, Butterworth, Partridge, Burgess, Carey, Wormull, Hanlon, Sambrook, Sigere, Hunter. Subs: Brady, Rodwell, Mills, Pennock, Duffy (for Sigere-75).

Attendance: 3,258

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