Rushden & Diamonds 3 Mansfield Town 1

By Steven

Scott Partridge scored his first goal for the Diamonds as he helped complete an excellent 3-1 victory against Mansfield Town at Nene Park on Saturday.

The Diamonds striker netted midway through the second half to seal the victory for Brian Talbot’s side after goals from Andrew Burgess and an own goal from Bobby Hassell set them on their way.

Mansfield came to Nene Park having lost only three of their last 11 games but the Diamonds were boosted by the return of Burgess.

The midfielder missed Tuesday’s victory against Shrewsbury with a thigh strain but he replaced Gary Setchell, who scored at Gay Meadow, on the left side of midfield.

Mansfield had the early chances when Liam Lawrence latched onto a long throw from Hassell but his effort went over the Diamonds crossbar.

But, on five minutes, the visitors took the lead when Shayne Bradley fired home from close range following another long and dangerous throw from Hassell.

The Diamonds should have responded just a minute later. Paul Hall sent over a perfect corner that Ritchie Hanlon met, but his downward header went over the crossbar.

Mansfield continued to control the opening 20 minutes and some nice passing movement enabled Wayne Corden to get another effort on goal but it failed to trouble Billy Turley.

The Diamonds mounted good efforts of their own and Garry Butterworth struck a long range effort just over the Mansfield crossbar.

Mansfield were dealt a blow before the game with the news that Chris Greenacre, the clubs leading goalscorer, was out through injury but the Stags continued to look dangerous as they moved forward.

Barry Hunter forced a good one handed save from Kevin Pilkington but it wasn’t long before the Diamonds were back on level terms.

On 30 minutes Andrew Sambrook sent a dangerous cross into the Mansfield penalty area that Darby headed, only for Hassell to divert the ball into his own net.

Just four minutes later the Diamonds took the lead. Some good work from Paul Hall enabled him to cross into the box for Darby to head the ball into the centre of the Mansfield penalty area. But despite the visitors clearing their lines the ball ran to Burgess who sweetly struck to beat Pilkington in his bottom left hand corner.

But there was bad news for the Diamonds when Brian Talbot was forced to make a change before the break when Paul Underwood was replaced by Setchell after the skipper had picked up a knock in the first half. Mark Peters was handed the captains armband as a result.

Half Time: Diamonds 2 Mansfield 1

Mansfield started the second half strong and after a mistake from Peters and Butterworth, the Stages could have taken the lead but Corden struck over the cross bar from within the Diamonds penalty area.

On 52 minutes Hall sent a free kick deep into the Mansfield penalty area and Hanlon saw his free header go over the target.

But Mansfield continued to charge forward and was nearly back on level terms in bizarre circumstances just moments later when Turley and Hunter failed to communicate as they went for the same ball.

On 60 minutes Pilkington was forced to make a vital save when he tipped over a cross-cum-shot from Sambrook that may have found its way into the net had he failed to get a touch.

Turley was called into action on 66 minutes when he saved well from Hassell as Mansfield looked for a way back into this hard fought encounter.

Mansfield thought they should have had a penalty when Craig Disley was sent tumbling down by Hanlon but the referee saw no infringement made.

Turley was once again asked to make another vital save when he denied Bradley after the Mansfield midfielder was put through on goal from Liam Lawrence.

But this was going to be the Diamonds day and Partridge sealed the victory for the Diamonds fans when, on 77 minutes, his back heel was adjudged to have crossed the goal line from the referee’s assistant.

Mansfield continued to press forward but Hunter and Peters kept the Stags at bay and on 84 minutes Turley was equal to Bradley’s effort.

Full Time: Diamonds 3 Mansfield 1

Diamonds: Turley, Underwood (Setchell 45), Peters, Butterworth, Partridge (Folan 86), Darby, Burgess (Brady 88), Hall, Hanlon, Sambrook, Hunter.   

Subs not used: Carey, Pennock.


Mansfield: Pilkington, Pemberton, Barrett, Bradley, Corden (Harris 78), Hassell, Reddington, Disley, Williamson, Lawrence (Tankard 77), White.

Subs not used: Asher, Bingham, White.

Booked: Barrett, Reddington.

Attendance: Mr P. Rejer

Attendance: 4,937.


Shrewsbury Town 0 Rushden & Diamonds 2

By Steven

Rushden & Diamonds secured their first league win on their travels since the opening day of the season with a well deserved 2-0 victory over high flying Shrewsbury Town.

Goals from Gary Setchell and Duane Darby gave the Diamonds victory but a solid display throughout the heart of the team contributed to an excellent result for manager Brian Talbot

Brian made only one change to the starting 11 that drew with Hull on Saturday. Andy Burgess, who picked up a thigh strain, was replaced by Setchell with Jon Brady named as a substitute.

The Diamonds went into the match looking to maintain their unbeaten run that had seen Brian’s side not lose in their last seven league games. But at Gay Meadow, Shrewsbury was not going to be an easy task having only lost one game on their own patch.

Paul Hall had the first effort for the Diamonds when he collected a long ball from Barry Hunter, deep inside his own half. But despite getting a shot on goal the former Walsall midfielder saw his effort well saved by goalkeeper Ian Dunbavin.

The home side soon responded with an effort of their own when on six minutes Mark Atkins hit a right foot shot wide of its intended target.

Both sides were enjoying good spells in the opening ten minutes but Shrewsbury came close on 11 minutes when Steve Jagielka struck the outside of the post with a fierce right footed shot.

But the visitors were also creating good chances of their own and Scott Partridge hit a fierce shot straight at the Shrewsbury defence that would have certainly found its way into the net had it not struck a defender.

The Diamonds were certainly taking the game to Shrewsbury and they deserved their lead on 19 minutes when Hall’s cross found Setchell unmarked in the centre of the penalty area to powerfully head home.

As the game moved on and despite large periods of possession from Shrewsbury they failed to test Billy Turley as the Diamonds defence continued to hold their ground.

On 42 minutes Andrew Sambrook gave away a free-kick in a dangerous position and Lowe nearly made the Diamonds defender pay for his costly error when he rattled the crossbar with an in swinging cross.

Shrewsbury went close to levelling the match just before the interval but Atkins saw his powerful header fly inches wide of Turley’s right hand post.

Half Time: Shrewsbury 0 Diamonds 1

Neither Brian or his opposite number Kevin Ratcliffe made any changes to their teams at the break and the Diamonds were looking impressive as they tried to add to their lead.

Greg Rioch hit a long range effort on the volley but his effort went straight into the arms of Turley.

On 52 minutes the Diamonds went close to extending their lead when Ritchie Hanlon drilled a low shot that Dunbavin had to be equal to and pulled of a great save.

The Diamonds continued to enjoy most of the possession and Setchell had another good chance for the visitors but this time the ball flew straight into the arms of the Shrewsbury goalkeeper.

Lowe wasted a good chance for Shrewsbury on 61 minutes when he fired over the Diamonds crossbar when, in truth, he should have done a lot better.

Partridge and Darby continued to cause problems for the Shrewsbury defence and on 68 minutes the Diamonds deservedly extended the lead.

Partridge started the move just inside the Shrewsbury half and moved the ball out to the right where Hall delivered an inch perfect cross for Darby to side foot home.

It was no more than the Diamonds deserved with their impressive attacking play and a strong performance in the heart of the defence which had kept quite Shrewsbury striker Luke Rodgers, the clubs leading marksman with 12 goals this season.

Darby was substituted on 79 minutes and received a standing ovation from the Diamonds faithful following an excellent performance in attack.

Shrewsbury thought they had reduced the deficit five minutes from the end when they appealed that Turley had taken the ball over the goal line after he held onto a header from substitute Iain Jenkins.

Full Time: Shrewsbury 0 Diamonds 2

Diamonds: Turley, Underwood, Peters, Butterworth, Partridge, Darby (Folan 79), Setchell, Hall, Hanlon, Sambrook, Hunter.

Subs not used: Pennock, Mustafa, Carey, Brady

Booked: Darby (36), Folan (82)

Shrewsbury: Dunbavin, Moss, Rioch, Jagielka (Jenkins 80), Redmile, Heathcote, Lowe (Freestone 72), Atkins, Rodgers, Jemson, Murray.

Subs not used: Drysdale, Cartwright, Walker


Attendance: 4,016

Referee: Mr A Kaye.

Rushden & Diamonds 3 Hull City 3

By Steven

Rushden & Diamonds let a two goal lead slip as they were held to a thrilling 3-3 draw by Hull City at Nene Park.

The Diamonds scored three goals in a league match for the first time this season but despite taking a two goal advantage at the break, Hull managed to claw their way back and claim a point.

Brian Talbot recalled Duane Darby and Scott Partridge into the starting line-up while Tarkan Mustafa was named as a substitute after his lengthy lay off through injury.

The visitors went close after just two minutes but Mike Edwards saw his long range effort deflected wide and out for a corner.

The Diamonds soon responded when Paul Underwood sent a free kick that flew wide of the visitors goal as the home side looked for an early breakthrough.

But it was Hull who took the lead after four minutes when striker Gary Alexander crashed a long-range effort into the left-hand corner of the Diamonds net that left Billy Turley with no chance.

However it only took the Diamonds four minutes to respond and get back on level terms. Paul Underwood’s long ball found Darby who crossed perfectly for Ritchie Hanlon to head home, with the help of a slight deflection, which deceived Hull goalkeeper Matt Glennon.

Hull were nearly back in front on 13 minutes when Lawrie Dudfield was able to run into the penalty area and shoot to test the reflexes of Turley.

But Brian Talbot’s side took the lead on 18 minutes when Andy Burgess collected a long ball from Mark Peters and then saw his left wing cross fly over Glennon and into the net.

Burgess then claimed his second of the game on 25 minutes as the Diamonds began to carve open the Hull defence. Darby’s left wing cross found Paul Hall whose header hit the post which left Burgess to pick up the rebound and tap home from close range.

Hull began to push forward as the Diamonds were soon on the back foot but the defence held firm as the visitors failed to find a way through on goal.

On 42 minutes Alexander sent a free kick over Turley’s crossbar as the visitors tried to claw their way back into the game but the Diamonds were well deserved their lead at the interval.

Half Time: Diamonds 3 Hull City 1

Hull made three changes for the second half and they soon got back into the game and reduced the deficit just a minute after break when Barry Hunter deflected a free kick into his own net.

Hanlon soon responded for the Diamonds on 50 minutes when he was able to force a good save from Glennon with a low shot.

But Hull were back on level terms on 52 minutes when Rodney Rowe was able to get behind Andrew Sambrook in the penalty area and score at the second attempt after Turley had kept out his initial effort.

Hull could have taken the lead just moments later but Turley was at full stretch as he managed to keep out a powerful header from Alexander.

On 68 minutes Partridge hit a fierce shot that struck the outside of the woodwork as the Diamonds tried to restore the lead.

Caleb Folan replaced Darby with 15 minutes remaining but the Hull defence held firm as they limited the Diamonds to any threat on goal.

Hall fired just over the Hull crossbar on 82 minutes but it failed to trouble Glennon while Turley was called into action on 85 minutes and had to make a vital save from Rowe.

Both sides could have snatched victory at the end. Mike Edwards cleared one of the goal line for the visitors after Folan sent in a low right wing cross while Ryan Williams was unable to get a shot after his first touch let him down after being put through on goal.

Full Time: Diamonds 3 Hull City 3

Diamonds: Turley, Underwood, Peters, Butterworth, Partridge, Darby (Folan 75), Burgess (Setchell 55), Hall, Hanlon, Sambrook, Hunter.

Subs not used: Mustafa, Carey, Pennock.

Booked: Hunter 61, Hanlon 66.

Hull City: Glennon, Edwards, Whittle, Mohan, Holt, Williams, Johnsson (Lee 46), Petty, Beresford (Matthews 46), Dudfield (Rowe 46), Alexander.

Subs not used: Musselwhite, Bloomer

Booked: Whittle 47

Attendance: 4,676

Referee: H. Webb

Cardiff City 7 Rushden & Diamonds 1

By Steven

Rushden and Diamonds went crashing out of the LDV Vans trophy tonight thanks to a first half hat-trick form Cardiff striker Gavin Gordon.

The Diamonds were simply outplayed in all departments as Gordon ran riot through the heart of the defence as he went on to score five and seal an easy passage to round two of the competition.

Diamonds boss Brian Talbot made three changes to the side that drew with Rochdale on Saturday.

Jim Rodwell replaced Barry Hunter in the centre of defence while Christian Lee teamed up with Caleb Folan in attack and Daniel Talbot was given a rare start in midfield.

The Diamonds went behind after just six minutes with the first real attack of the game. Cardiff midfielder Mark Bonner unleashed a wonderful 30-yard strike that left Billy Turley no chance after the Diamonds failed to clear their lines.

The home side nearly doubled their advantage just four minutes later when Scott Young saw his header go just inches wide from a Bonner corner.

But the lead was soon doubled on 11 minutes. A delightful run from Josh Low found Gordon unmarked in the penalty area to head home into an empty net.

Ritchie Hanlon nearly responded shortly afterwards but his low drive went wide of the target.

Mark Peters was nearly the culprit of a bad error that enabled Gordon through on goal. Thankfully his blushes were spared following a good challenge from Jim Rodwell although it left Brian fuming from on the bench.

Diamonds attacks were rare and when they did look like they could mount a threat the final delivery from Paul Hall failed to find its intended targets.

Gary Mills did have a long-range effort on 24 minutes but his effort failed to trouble Cardiff goalkeeper Lee Kendall.

The Diamonds should have reduced the lead on 28 minutes. After a good build up play, Christian Lee’s final ball should have been rewarded with a touch but the ball trickled harmlessly across the goal and out of play.

The Diamonds went further behind on 32 minutes when Gordon grabbed his second of the game beating Turley one-on-one following a delightful through ball by Bonner.

It was 4-0 on 40 minutes when Gordon completed his hat-trick with a delightful finish that found its way into the corner of the net.

Half Time: Cardiff City 4 Diamonds 0

Brian made two changes at the interval removing Folan and Lee in attack and playing Hall up front alongside Andy Burgess. David Bell occupied the left side of midfield.

In a quite opening to the second half, Cardiff made the better start and continued to cause problems in the visitors defence.

On 58 minutes Hall ran into the heart of the Cardiff defence and it nearly brought a goal but Hanlon could not force his way in front of defender David Hughes and grab the vital touch.

Gordon’s pace and power was causing Rushden all sorts of problems for the Diamonds and Billy Turley was nearly caught out when he mis-kicked a back pass.

But the Diamonds conceded a fifth on 72 minutes when Gordon grabbed his fourth and Cardiff’s fifth, after he slotted past Turley.

On 72 minutes Hall produced a fine individual effort to notch his first goal for the Diamonds since his move from Walsall. His goal even got a standing ovation from the home supporters when he went past Kendall with skill and ease.

But Brian’s side couldn’t mount on their goal and conceded a sixth when Martyn Giles, who had just come onto the field, calmly slotted home from close range.

Cardiff continued to put more pressure on the Diamonds back four and Gordon’s night was complete when he added his fifth of the game after seeing two initial shots saved by Turley.

Full Time: Cardiff City 7 Diamonds 1

Rushden and Diamonds: Turley, Underwood (Setchell 70), Peters, Rodwell, Mills, Lee (Burgess 46), Hall, Hanlon, Sambrook, Talbot, Folan (Bell 46).

Subs not used: Pennock, Carey

Booked: Peters (69)

Cardiff: Kendall, Thompson (Jones 85), Young, Hughes, Brazier, Hamilton, Bonner, Maxwell (Giles 77), Low, Gordon, Nugent (Collins 83).

Subs not used: Fish, Anthony.


Attendance: 2,052

Referee: P. Armstrong

Rochdale 0 Rushden & Diamonds 0

Rushden goalkeeper Billy Turley was the star of the show as he helped his side to their third consecutive draw on their travels and extend their unbeaten run to six.

The former Northampton shot-stopper made a number of clinical saves and together with a solid second half performance the Diamonds were well deserving of their point.

Brian Talbot included Paul Hall in the starting line up for his Rushden debut following his move from Walsall, while Turley was recalled to the starting line-up following his three-match suspension.

The home side nearly took the lead inside the first five minutes when Kieron Durkan’s cross struck the leg of striker Clive Platt, but Turley produced an excellent one-handed save.

Platt was nearly on the scoresheet moments later but the striker could not keep down a header from Durkan’s left wing cross.

Turley, back between the sticks after a three match suspension, produced another fine save, this time from Paul Wheatcroft’s long range effort, that would have found its way into the corner of the net.

The home side continued to dominate and Platt was continuing to cause problems in the Diamonds defence with his aerial ability and strength.

After producing a string of good saves, Turley was nearly the culprit of a bad error when he mis-kicked a free-kick deep inside his own area that enabled Platt to run in on goal.

However the striker was unable to convert his chance following an excellent challenge from Paul Underwood.

Attacks were rare for the Diamonds and on-loan Rochdale goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann was rarely tested inside the first half-an-hour.

But the Diamonds created their best chance of the half on 39 minutes when a perfectly weighted right wing cross from Hall found the head of Caleb Folan but his deflected header was well saved by Hahnemann.

The Diamonds ended the first half the stronger side but it was only some brilliant work in the visitors goal from Turley that kept Brian Talbot’s side level at the interval.

Half Time: Rochdale 0 Rushden and Diamonds 0

Brian Talbot withdrew Partridge from the action at the break, replacing him with Gary Mills who occupied the right midfield position meaning Hall was left to partner Folan in attack.

Rochdale started the second half the same as they started the first when after 49 minutes Tony Ford’s corner caused confusion in the Diamonds defence but Platt’s fierce strike hit the side netting.

Rushden began to find their feet and started to create some good chances. First, Mills’ close range header was well saved by Hahnemann on 54 minutes and moments later the Rochdale goalkeeper managed to get his fingers to Folan’s deflected shot.

Both teams were starting to open up their opposition’s defences and Platt brought another fingertip save, on 54 minutes, from Turley.

On 63 minutes Ritchie Hanlon let fly a wicked 35-yard free-kick that tested Hahnemann and the quick reactions of the Rochdale defence.

But Rochdale should have broken the deadlock on 73 minutes when Ford wasted an excellent chance, blasting the ball high into the stand, after standing in an unmarked position in the Rushden area.

Rochdale pressed for that elusive goal and five minutes from the end they thought they had stolen the maximum points but Ford’s fierce drive was cleared of the goal line from Mark Peters.

Hall had a late effort that struck the side netting but a solid second half performance meant the Diamonds left Spotland with a well deserved point.

Full Time: Rochdale 0 Rushden and Diamonds 0

Diamonds: Turley, Underwood, Peters, Butterworth, Partridge (Mills 45), Burgess, Hall, Hanlon, Sambrook, Hunter, Folan

Subs not used: Rodwell, Pennock, Setchell, Lee

Booked: Peters (90)

Rochdale: Hahnemann, Evans, Jobson, Griffiths, Doughty, Ford, Oliver (Flitcroft 62), Jones, Durkan, Platt, Wheatcroft (Townson 45)

Subs not used: Gilks, Bayliss, Duffy.

Booked: Jones (42), Jobson (43).

Attendance: 4,345 (311 Rushden fans)

Referee: Mr C Webster.

Rushden & Diamonds 2 v Hartlepool United 1

The Diamonds recorded their first victory over Hartlepool courtesy of an own goal from Michael Barron after 35 minutes and a Barry Hunter header after 66 minutes. The visitors had levelled through Gordon Watson after 44 minutes.

Diamonds: Pennock, Sambrook, Underwood, Hanlon, Peters, Hunter, Butterworth, Brady, Partridge, Lee, Burgess. Subs: Folan (for Lee 59)

Hartlepool: Williams, Robinson, Barron, Lee, Tinkler, Henderson, Widdrington, Bass, Stephenson, Sharp, Watson. Subs: Humpreys (for Henderson 66), Easter (for Sharp 68), Boyd (for Bass 86).

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