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

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