Rushden & Diamonds 0 Scunthorpe 0

At times this game looked as if it would have a hatful of goals but in fair reflection, a point apiece was probably the right result of an entertaining evening at Nene Park as the Diamonds were held to a goalless draw against Scunthorpe.
There were plenty of chances for both sides to nick a goal but some good goalkeeping from both goalkeepers kept the scores all equal.

This was an encounter between two of the most inform teams of the division. The Diamonds were looking to notch their 12th league game without defeat while Scunthorpe had only lost one in their last 13.

Brian Talbot was handed a massive boost ahead of kick off with the news that Andy Burgess passed a late fitness test which meant that the side remained unchanged from that beat which Worcester City in the F.A. Cup on Saturday.

But on the bench for the Diamonds was Peter Thomson while Robert Duffy was also included as a substitute following his impressive performance when he was called into action against Worcester.

Scunthorpe, two points ahead of the Diamonds in the Nationwide Third Division going into the match, included experienced midfielder Peter Beagrie and their inform striker Martin Carruthers, who had notched nine goals this season.

It was a fantastic start for the Diamonds when Duane Darby nearly struck in the opening 10 seconds, firing a low effort just past Tom Evans’ right hand post.

Beagrie sent a free kick that produced a fine save from Billy Turley while Scott Partridge had an excellent chance for the Diamonds just moments later in an exciting opening to the game.

After 15 minutes Diamonds 0 Scunthorpe 0

Both teams were enjoying a fair amount of possession in an entertaining game but as for clear-cut chances neither side could find that cutting edge in front of goal.

After such a good opening both teams failed to find any shape and pattern to their play and neither goalkeeper was having to many troubles early on.

Scunthorpe was edging the play as we approached the half-an-hour mark but Brian Laws’ side could not put any pressure on our defence or on Turley’s goal.

Garry Butterworth received a nasty whack on the leg following a wicked challenge from Richard Kell, an incident which saw the Scunthorpe midfielder pick up a yellow card.

After 30 minutes: Diamonds 0 Scunthorpe 0

Chances were few and far between but Turley was forced to tip the ball over the crossbar following another dangerous free kick from the impressive Beagrie.

The referee was throwing yellow cards around like they were Christmas cards and when Andrew Sambrook received a booking on 37 minute he was the fourth booking of the game.

Partridge produced our best effort of the game when he turned past a Scunthorpe defender to fire a shot straight into the arms of Evans.

And on 41 minutes Hodges sent a swerving low effort, that deflect off Paul Underwood, towards the Diamonds goal and Turley produced an excellent one handed save to deny the visitors the lead.

All of a sudden Scunthorpe were looking the better team and Alex Calvo-Garcia sent an effort over the target that failed to trouble Turley.

But as the half time whistle went no goals was a fair reflection of the play so far although both managers would have been satisfied off a clean sheet.  

Half Time: Diamonds 0 Scunthorpe 0

So into the second half and there was no changes at the interval for either side and Scunthorpe made the brighter start of the two sides as Torpey headed wide at the far post following an in swinging corner.

Scunthorpe started the second half brightly and the Diamonds were firmly on the back foot as the visitors won a number of corners in the opening five minutes of the half.

Darby should have given the Diamonds the lead on 50 minutes when he fired over the crossbar, inside the six-yard penalty area, following an excellent cross from Mark Peters.

Ritchie Hanlon tried his luck from a long way out but his effort was always curling away from the Scunthorpe goal.

This game was certainly in the balance. At 0-0 both sides looked threatening although neither goalkeeper was being put under serious amounts of pressure.

Screams in the Peter de Banke Terrace appealed for a handball as the Diamonds thought they should have had a penalty on 58 minutes but the referee just waved away the protests.

After 60 minutes: Diamonds 0 Scunthorpe 0

Turley produced the save of the match on 62 minutes. After Carruthers burst through his ball found Kell who should have found the net, but Turley stood firm and made a vital stop with his feet.

Partridge made an excellent chance for himself on 65 minutes when he picked the ball up deep inside the Diamonds half and ran through the Scunthorpe defence, twisting and turning, but Evans produces an excellent save.

The game suddenly found its early pace as it swung one way to the other with both team creating good efforts.

On 72 minutes Hall made a lovely break and his ball found Partridge. His square ball found the feet off Burgess, who done everything right but saw his effort cannon off the crossbar.

After 75 minutes Diamonds 0 Scunthorpe 0

Chances were now flying in from the Diamonds but Scunthorpe were also having their fair share of opportunities.

Turley produced the save of the match in stoppage time when he tipped over a long range effort from Beagrie. And at the full time whistle a 0-0 was a fair result.

Full Time: Diamonds 0 Scunthorpe 0

Diamonds: Turley, Underwood, Peters, Butterworth, Partridge, Darby, Burgess, Hall, Hanlon, Sambrook, Hunter.

Subs not used: Brady, Pennock, Setchell, Thomson, Duffy

Bookings: Burgess (24), Sambrook (37), Hanlon (69).

Scunthorpe: Evans, Dawson, Stanton, Jackson, Hodges, Carruthers (Quailey 77), Torpey, Calvo-Garcia, Beagrie, McCombe, Kell.

Subs not used: Bradshaw, Sparrow, Brough, Bennion

Bookings: Kell (27), Torpey (32)

Referee: Mr M Jones

Attendance: 3,533


Diamonds   S’thorpe
3  Shot on Target 7 
7 Shot off Target 4 
4 Corners 11 
2 Offsides 2 
22 Free-Kicks 12 
3 Yellow Card 2 
0 Red Card 0 

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