Scunthorpe United 1 Rushden & Diamonds 1

By Steven

Rushden & Diamonds produced another hard working, determined and impressive performance to come away with a precious point against Scunthorpe United at Glanford Park.

And it was Onandi Lowe, who again popped up with the vital goal, to cancel out an own-goal from Paul Underwood in the first-half which had given the home-side the lead.

Prior to the game, Diamonds boss Brian Talbot named an unchanged starting line-up to the one that demolished Swansea City 4-0 at Nene Park on Easter Monday.

That meant Onandi Lowe partnered Brett Angell in attack with Duane Darby ruled out through injury while, despite the return to fitness of Barry Hunter, Andy Tillson and Mark Peters started in defence.

Scunthorpe United, who went into the match looking for their first win in three games, included Peter Beagrie and top goal scorer Steve Torpey in their starting line-up while Lee Hodges was on the bench.

Diamonds started the game the brighter side without creating too many opportunities as Lowe looked dangerous in the opening stages and Paul Hall creating some exciting runs down the right flank.

And Diamonds should have taken the lead inside the first five minutes. Lowe was the provider as he played a delightful ball to Ritchie Hanlon but the midfielder saw his shot well saved by Tom Evans.

Then, just moments later, Hanlon fired a fierce free-kick straight through the Scunthorpe wall and the shot was so powerful that Evans had to parry the ball away from his goal.

It was a fantastic start by Diamonds with the home-side yet to create any worthwhile opportunity and they failed to put any danger on Billy Turley’s goal.

After 15 mins: Scunthorpe 0 Diamonds 0

Scunthorpe’s first effort of the game arrived on 15 minutes but it wasn’t anything special as Alex Calvo-Garcia blasted the ball wide off the target.

Without creating any chances, the home-side were now starting to put a bit of pressure on the Diamonds goal. Martin Carruthers fired wide of the target from long range on 16 minutes.

Lowe, who was causing Scunthorpe no ends of problems, dragged another shot wide of the target on 20 minutes as the visitors continued to dominate the game and make the home-side look quiet.

Scunthorpe were slowly clawing their way back into the game but they had still yet to fire a shot on target as the defence continued to hold firm and limit the home-side to a few opportunities.

After 30 mins: Scunthorpe United 0 Diamonds 0

Carruthers burst through towards goal on 33 minutes and dragged his shot wide of the target although the Scunthorpe striker was standing in an offside position.

But on 35 minutes, Scunthorpe created their best opportunity of the game when Carruthers escaped the tackle of Mark Peters only to see his shot roll wide of the target.

Then, just a minute later, Lowe produced an acrobatic bicycle kick that Evans had to tip over the bar and out for a corner. That resulted in Lowe heading just inches over the crossbar from Hall’s in swinging corner.

The game was heading for a draw but with just two minutes until the half-time whistle a Beagrie cross from out on the right wing was headed home by the unfortunate Underwood.

Half-time: Scunthorpe United 1 Diamonds 0

As the second-half got underway, Scunthorpe started brightly as they began to open gaps in the Diamonds defence and Underwood had to make a vital block when Carruthers fired a shot on goal.

Scunthorpe’s corners were causing some concern as Turley was regularly kept under tight control.

Scunthorpe were now looking the stronger team as Lowe and Angell struggled to find a way past the home-sides defence.

After 60 mins: Scunthorpe 1 Diamonds 0

Diamonds were slowly getting themselves back into the game.  Lowe continued to cause problems; Angell was looking dangerous in patches while Burgess and Hall were providing exciting runs down the flanks.

There were worrying signs for Diamonds on 67 minutes when Hanlon hobbled off with physio Simon Parsell with what looked to be a strain to the stomach. He was quickly replaced by Gary Mills.

After 75 mins: Scunthorpe 1 Diamonds 0

Scunthorpe continued to push forward at every opportunity and Beagrie was starting to come too life in the game after a very quiet first-half.

But Diamonds continued to play some nice attacking football and Nathan Stanton nearly guided the ball past his own goalkeeper when he came under pressure from Hall.

But with ten minutes remaining, Diamonds deservedly got themselves back on level terms when Burgess’ long-range effort was only parried by Evans and Lowe stuck home the rebound.

It was what the visitors deserved. They had matched Scunthorpe every inch of the way and Lowe was deserving of his goal after working hard throughout the game.

Scunthorpe pressed forward late on in the game but despite a goal line clearance in the final minute, Diamonds held on.

After 90 mins: Scunthorpe United 1 Diamonds 1

Scunthorpe: Evans, Dawson, Stanton, Vaughan, Jackson, Beagrie, Sparrow, Garcia, Graves, Torpey, Carruthers (Jeffrey 85).

Subs not used: Sheldon, McCombe, Hodges, Bennion

Bookings: Jackson (3), Vaughan (10),Sparrow (??)  Dawson (56)

Diamonds: Turley, Mustafa, Underwood, Peters, Tillson, Hall, Hanlon (Mills 68), Wardley, Burgess, Angell (Partridge 71), Lowe.

Subs not used: Dowell, Brady, Setchell. 

Bookings:

Referee: Mr S Mathieson

Attendance: 4,794 (including 686 from Rushden)

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