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.

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