Rushden & Diamonds 4 Swansea City 0

By Steven

Rushden & Diamonds recorded their biggest win in the Football League with a comprehensive 4-0 victory against Swansea City at Nene Park in a thrilling Easter Monday encounter.

And although Onandi Lowe, who scored two of Diamonds’ goals, was again outstanding it was another fantastic team performance over a poor Swansea side, struggling to find any form.

The result lifted Diamonds further up the Third Division table and a play-off place looks on the cards with only three games remaining this season.

Diamonds boss Brian Talbot was forced to make one change prior to kick-off with Brett Angell making his home debut for the club after the withdrawal of Duane Darby in Saturday’s win against Mansfield Town.

But it was ‘as you were before’ as Diamonds went into the match looking for their fourth consecutive win while Swansea were looking to banish the memories of their 3-1 defeat against Luton Town just two days ago.

The visitors made a number of changes to their side. Jason Jones was the Swansea goalkeeper, replacing Roger Freestone while Nick Cusack was recalled to the starting line-up.

The one-minute silence as a mark of respect for the recent loss of the Queen Mother was well observed as the game got off to a blistering start.

It took just 66 seconds for Diamonds to take the lead. Paul Hall found space in the centre of the park and the Jamaican international unleashed a tremendous shot that took a wicked deflection into the net.

It was a fantastic start by the home-side but Swansea nearly hit back just second later. Andrew Mumford fired a free-kick from 25-yards out that Billy Turley had to produce an acrobatic save.

The game really began at a blistering pace but to their credit Swansea were looking the better side. They certainly hadn’t come to Nene Park to defend and inside the first five minutes they had won two corners.

After 15 mins: Diamonds 1 Swansea 0

Swansea were looking impressive each time they move forward and they went close on 15 minutes when after some good link up play with Mamady Sidibe, midfielder Jonathan Coates hit a shot straight into the arms of Turley.

But just a minute later Diamonds extended their lead. Andy Burgess skipped past two Swansea defenders down the left-flank and when the ball broke to Lowe the striker made no hesitations and fired the ball past Jones.

Swansea maintained their impressive attacking play and Sidibe was looking impressive as the visitors moved forward.

After 30 mins: Diamonds 2 Swansea 0

The game was now becoming a bit scrappy. The fast flowing football witnessed in the first 20 minutes had disappeared although Diamonds were now looking the stronger side on the break.

Diamonds should have extended their lead on 35 minutes when Lowe beat Jones to a high ball and when it broke to Angell the striker could not guide his effort on target.

Turley was called into action on 42 minutes when Hanlon diverted an excellent cross from out on the left-wing towards his own goal.

It was an excellent first-half for the home-side and although the visitors remained dangerous on the attack, Diamonds fully deserved their interval lead.

Half-time: Diamonds 2 Swansea 0

Swansea nearly reduced the lead just 20 seconds into the second half. Chris Todd managed to get past two Diamonds defenders and when the ball went past Turley, Paul Underwood was on hand to make a vital clearance off the goal line.

But Diamonds responded quickly and Lowe fired a 30-yard effort towards goal and Jones produced an excellent save. The Swansea goalkeeper then reacted quickly to prevent Angell getting on the score sheet.

And on 53 minutes the game was made safe. Some more good build up play from Lowe released Angell who fired home a low shot past Jones for his second goal for Diamonds.

The game was now turning into a one-team contest as Diamonds added a fourth. It was that man Lowe again as he capitalised on an error from Jones following a good cross from Hall.

The atmosphere inside Nene Park was electric as Diamonds continued to produce some fantastic football. Hall was exciting down the right flank and Burgess and Underwood were linking up well down the left.

After 60 mins: Diamonds 4 Swansea 0

On 60 minutes, Lowe was replaced by Partridge and the Jamaican international received a standing ovation after another fantastic individual performance from the striker.

Burgess nearly scored from a fantastic goal on 64 minutes when he caught Jones off his line but his chip failed to go under the crossbar.

Partridge went close when he shot from inside the Swansea penalty area as Diamonds continued to dominate this one-sided affair.

After 75 mins: Diamonds 4 Swansea 0

Stuart Wardley fired over the crossbar after some fantastic work from Scott Partridge and it looked likely that the home-side might score a fifth.

Swansea tried to force a consolation goal but they were no match for a superior Diamonds side who controlled the game throughout the second-half.

At full-time: Diamonds 4 Swansea 0 

Diamonds: Turley, Mustafa, Underwood (Setchell 75), Peters (Mills 84), Burgess, Angell, Hall, Hanlon, Wardley, Lowe (Partridge 60), Tillson.

Subs not used: Brady, Dowell.

Bookings: Peters (63)

Swansea City: Jones, De-Vulght, Howard, Cusack, Smith, Mumford (Casey 83), Phillips, Coates, Todd, Watkin, Sidibe (Brodie 65).

Subs not used: Freestone, Romo, Williams.

Bookings:

Referee: Mr A Leake

Attendance: 4,671

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