Rushden & Diamonds 1 Boston United 0

 
Onandi Lowe is mobbed as he fires home the only goal of the evening

Barry Hunter tries to stop Stuart Douglas in his tracks

 

Onandi Lowe battles with Boston’s Alex Higgins

Mark Peters gets in a tussle with Boston’s Simon Weatherstone

Gary Mills skips past the tackle from a Boston player

Gary Setchell and Stuart Douglas do battle.

By Steven Dove
Onandi Lowe scored his first goal in ten games as Rushden & Diamonds held on to all three points in a tantalising encounter against Boston United at Nene Park this evening.

The Jamaican international fired home on nine minutes, as his goal was enough to record Diamonds’ first win in five league matches.

But Boston must be wondering how they failed to take anything from the game as they dominated proceedings in the second half and missed some golden opportunities. 

Barry Hunter was recalled to the starting line-up after serving his three-match suspension as he replaced Andy Tillson who had been suffering from his ongoing back problem. Billy Turley was also back in the starting line-up after recovering from his calf strain.

Otherwise, Diamonds boss Brian Talbot named an unchanged starting line-up meaning David Bell kept his place in midfield while Gary Setchell continued at left back with Paul Underwood missing.

Boston boss Neil Thompson had the luxury of naming an unchanged starting line-up from the one that beat Rochdale over the weekend meaning Ray Warburton started against his former club.

Also in the Boston line-up was Tony Battersby, who recently had a trial with the Diamonds and former on-loan striker Stuart Douglas, who was named amongst the substitutes.

Diamonds carved open the first opportunity of the game on three minutes when after some good build-up play from Gary Mills and Marcus Bignot, Paul Hall spooned an effort over the Boston crossbar.

Chances were few and far between in the opening eight minutes as both sides struggled to get to grips with the slippery conditions following light rainfall during the afternoon.

But the deadlock was broken on nine minutes through Lowe. The Jamaican international striker struck from 25-yards, burring an effort into the bottom corner of the net and leaving Boston goalkeeper Paul Bastock helpless.

After 15 minutes: Diamonds 1 Boston 0

Boston’s first effort of the game arrived on 15 minutes when Mark Angell’s crossball found Simon Weatherstone whose shot whizzed past Turley but the wrong side of a post.

Moments later, Warburton was lucky to stay on the field when he brought down Duane Darby. The former Diamonds skipper was the last defender but he was spared his blushes by the referee as he produced a yellow card.

The resulting free-kick nearly doubled Diamonds’ advantage but Lowe’s deflected effort rattled the crossbar with Bastock completely beaten by his thunderbolt shot.

After 30 minutes: Diamonds 1 Boston 0

Boston won their first corner of the game on 31 minutes, a true reflection on how little opportunities the visitors had created, but Tom Bennett’s low drive was well held by Turley.

On 35 minutes, Lee Thompson got a rare chance for Boston to get the visitors back on level terms but the pint-sized midfielder saw his shot beat Turley but go wide of the target.

Boston’s best effort of the half arrived on 37 minutes as the visitors continued to enjoy their best spell of the game. Weatherstone was given time outside the Diamonds penalty area to unleash a fierce shot which Turley had to be equal with and palm away out of danger.

But despite Boston dominating the final stages of the first-half, they couldn’t find a way through the Diamonds defence and it was the home-side who took the slender one goal advantage at the half-time whistle.

Half-time: Diamonds 1 Boston 0

Boston came storming out of the blocks in the second half and won three successive corners in the opening three minutes with Battersby creating the best chance with a close-range header.

On 49 minutes, Bell slid a ball to Lowe after finding space in the heart of the Boston midfield. Unfortunately, Lowe couldn’t create any worthwhile effort as Bastock stopped him in his tracks.

A sloppy ball from Mills nearly proved costly as Weatherstone went close with a header from Angel’s inch perfect cross.

A glancing header from Matt Hocking on 55 minutes nearly got Boston back on level terms as the visitors continued to dominate second half proceedings. 

After 60 minutes: Diamonds 1 Boston 0

Boston should have got themselves back on level terms on 60 minutes when Weatherstone was gifted a golden opportunity. A ball, which ricocheted off Hall, found the Boston striker through on goal but he couldn’t beat Turley in a one-on-one situation.

Boston’s pressure was beginning to tell and Diamonds were on a knife-edge. The visitors really should have been back on level terms especially when Battersby missed a header from inside the six yard box.

Only a point blank save from Bastock on 68 minutes denied Lowe from grabbing his second of the game in a rare opportunity for the Diamonds in this one-sided second-half.

On 71 minutes, Darby picked out Wardley running into the centre of the Boston penalty area but the Diamonds midfielder saw his downward header saved by Bastock.

After Darby failed with a delicate chip over Bastock on 74 minutes, Hall went agonisingly close from the rebound as he fired just wide of the Boston goal with a thunderbolt effort.

After 75 minutes: Diamonds 1 Boston 0

Boston were keeping the pressure firmly on Diamonds and on 78 minutes, Battersby fired an effort on the turn but it flew high and wide of Turley’s goal.

On 80 minutes, Hocking found space inside the Diamonds area to glance a header that beat Turley but floated just over his crossbar.

Douglas, who had come into the action on 76 minutes, should have got Boston back on level terms when he missed the target from six yards after Angel had driven ball across the face of the goal.

The visitors kept pushing until the final whistle as Weatherstone had an opportunity to pinch a point for the Pilgrims but Turley came rushing out of his to preserve the win.

After full-time: Diamonds 1 Boston 0

Diamonds: Turley, Hunter, Peters, Wardley, Darby, Bignot, Mills, Setchell, Bell (Talbot 90), Hall, Lowe.

Subs not used: Mustafa, Sollitt, Duffy, Dempster.

Bookings: Setchell (19)

Boston: Bastock, Clifford (R. Weatherstone 27), Chapman, Bennett, Battersby, S. Weatherstone, Angel, Hocking, Warburton, Thompson (Douglas 76), Higgins.

Subs not used: Redfearn, Cook, Conroy.

Bookings: Warburton (15), Chapman (27)

Referee: Mr G Hegley

Attendance: 4,079.

Diamonds’ MOTM: David Bell (Making excellent progress at first team level)

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