Swansea City 0 Rushden & Diamonds 0

By Steven

The Diamonds earned a well deserved point to extend their unbeaten run to ten, in a 0-0 draw against Swansea City.
With chants ringing around the ground by angry Swansea fans aimed at their chairman Tony Petty, it made playing very difficult for both sets of players but to their credit both teams tried their best to lift the spirits with their football.

The Diamonds went into the game as strong favourites. Brian Talbot’s side were unbeaten in their last nine games and despite Paul Underwood and Andy Burgess missing through injury the club was hopeful of another three points.

That was because troubled Swansea had only won two games at their Vetch Field stadium all season and went into the game only four places above the bottom of the Third Division.

But Brian, who drafted in Daniel Talbot and Gary Setchell into the starting line up as replacements for Underwood and Burgess, said before the encounter that this could be just as difficult of a game than in previous weeks. 

Troubled flared before the teams went out onto the pitch when Swansea fans tried to run onto the pitch in their anger at Petty.

On the pitch, Swansea made the brighter start and just a minute into the game Jonathan Coates made a dangerous run into the box but he failed to trouble Billy Turley.

There was worrying signs for the Diamonds inside the first five minutes when Scott Partridge seemed to have picked up a knock but he managed to shake it off and carried on.

The first corner of the game arrived on 10 minutes and it went in the Diamonds favour but despite an excellent delivery from Paul Hall, Duane Darby was adjudged to have fouled Swansea goalkeeper Roger Freestone.

The first real effort arrived on 14 minutes when Talbot sent a perfect cross into the centre of the box from the left hand side that Hall met but he failed to keep his effort below the crossbar.

Swansea fans continued their protest against their chairman but it certainly didn’t bother the Diamond players as they shaded the opening 15 minutes of play.

The home side tried their best to mount a serious challenge at the Diamonds goal, but some solid work from Mark Peters and Barry Hunter made sure they did not cause Turley any real danger.

It actually took Swansea 24 minutes for them to have their first real effort when John Williams sent a low cross along the face of the Diamonds goal and despite giving it his all, Nathan Tyson failed to get the all important touch.

Williams hit the side netting for Swansea on the half hour mark from a Coates corner but they were still struggling to trouble Turley although the Diamonds, at that point, had taken their foot of the pedal.

On 34 minutes Freestone was fortunate to get away with a bad error when he spilled a Hall corner although Setchell failed to take advantage of the mistake.

The first half failed to produce any free flowing football which the Diamonds had been playing in recent weeks and as the half time whistle went, no goals was a fair reflection of the game so far.    

Half Time: Swansea City 0 Diamonds 0

The second half certainly needed something special if either side was going to break the deadlock and it was surprising that neither manager made any changes to their teams at the interval.

But, in any case, the restart started in the same style as the first half with the Diamonds controlling the opening stages to the half.

Hunter had the first real effort for the Diamonds in the second half when he headed over following a Talbot corner.

The Swansea protests continued in the second half and it seemed to affect the side as they failed to muster any real chances, although the Diamonds were struggling themselves to get any real effort on goal.

On 56 minutes Darby had a really good effort to break the deadlock when he struck, on the volley from a Partridge header, a good effort but it failed to trouble Freestone.

Swansea tried their best to push forward but all they could produce was half chances, the best falling to Coates on 61 minutes but, again, it failed to trouble the Diamonds.

Moments later Partridge had the best effort for the Diamonds when his fierce effort whizzed inches wide of Freestone’s left hand post.

Despite the long periods of play the Diamonds was experiencing it was Swansea who should have taken the lead on 68 minutes when Matthew Bound saw his bicycle kick strike the post.

Partridge had another good effort for the Diamonds just seconds later but he blazed the ball over the target when put through in on goal.

Swansea started to up the tempo in the second half and although they could not find a way towards goal they certainly put the pressure on the Diamonds as they were soon on the back foot.

Chances were few and far between and despite both sides trying to play good football the attackers were upheld by some solid defending by both sets of defenders.

In the closing stages fans from Swansea made there way to the edge of the pitch but on the football side of things a draw was probably a fair result, although the Diamonds will probably be the more disappointed.

Diamonds: Turley, Peters, Butterworth, Partridge (Folan 72), Darby, Setchell, Hall, Hanlon, Sambrook, Talbot (Brady 78) Hunter.

Subs not used: Carey, Solkhon, Pennock

Booked: Talbot (75)

Swansea City: Freestone, Phillips, Howard (Casey39), Sharp, Cusack, Bound, Williams, Tyson, Coates (Watkins 65), Evans, Smith.

Subs not used: Jones, Todd, Mumford

Booked: Tyson (41)

Referee: Mr M Ryan

Attendance: 3,970

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