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.

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