Rushden & Diamonds 2 York City 1

By Steven Dove

Brian Talbot celebrated his sixth anniversary in charge of Rushden & Diamonds with a much-needed win, their first in five games, against a battling York City outfit.

Stuart Wardley pounced for his fourth goal of the season moments before the half time whistle before Chris Brass was unfortunate to put through his own net to seal a comfortable win. Lee Bullock grabbed a late consolation for York

As expected, Brian recalled Onandi Lowe and Duane Darby to the starting line-up as Paul Hall reverted to his normal right midfield position.

Tony Battersby dropped to the bench along with Gary Mills who was replaced by Andy Burgess in the centre of midfield. He partnered Wardley, with David Bell switching to the left flank with Stuart Gray ruled out through injury.

John Dempster maintained his position in the centre of defence meaning Mark Peters remained amongst the substitutes.

York City boss Terry Dolan welcomed Bullock back into the side after completing his suspension period as the visitors looked to maintain their unbeaten seven game run. 

Wardley had a golden opportunity to open the scoring for Diamonds inside the first two minutes but the midfielder blasted over the bar from inside the six-yard area.

But it was the visitors who carved open the better opportunity when, on four minutes, Anthony Shandran drilled a low effort wide of the target.

Diamonds continued to enjoy the majority of the early possession and although they have failed to create any real openings and test York goalkeeper Michael Ingham.

After 15 minutes: Diamonds 0 York City 0

Lowe’s power and pace was causing havoc in the York defence, but the Jamaican international was struggling to find a breakthrough.

This was a game of very few chances and although Diamonds continued to play sweeping football, they struggled to find a way through the York defence.

After 30 minutes: Diamonds 0 York City 0

York created a good opportunity on 34 minutes when Darren Edmonson’s cross found the head of Jon Parkin, but the York striker guided the poor straight into the arms of Billy Turley.

Diamonds best opportunity of the half arrived on 41 minutes when Paul Underwood’s delightful cross when met with a powerful header from Darby. However, the Diamonds striker saw his effort acrobatically saved by Ingham.

Diamonds finished the half stronger and Wardley’s header went inches wide of the York goal but the midfielder soon found himself on the score sheet moments later.

The former QPR player scrambled the ball home from close range when Ingham spilled a cross from Underwood, who had beaten two York players down the left flank.

AT HALF TIME: DIAMONDS 1 YORK CITY 0

The visitors started the second half positively and Parkin was unfortunate not to connect with an in swinging cross from the right-flank, which certainly would have caused Turley some trouble.

York nearly had the ball in the back of net on 53 minutes but they couldn’t get the deciding touch following a goalmouth scramble, which, somehow, saw Diamonds clear their lines.

The visitors had certainly started the second-half more brightly than Diamonds and the scores could have been all square had it not been for some excellent goalkeeping from Turley.

After 60 minutes: Diamonds 1 York City 0

Burgess fired a goal bound effort on 64 minutes straight into the arms of Ingham as Diamonds began to enjoy the majority of the possession in the second half.

York were refusing to lie down and Richard Cooper cracked a wonderful 30-yard effort on 69 minutes which, unfortunately, flew straight into Turley’s arms.

But the crucial moment for Diamonds came on 75 minutes when Hall crossed from the right flank to cause confusion in the York defence. The visitors failed to clear their lines and Brass was unfortunate to guide the ball past his own goalkeeper.

After 75 minutes: Diamonds 2 York City 0

Bullock saw a header go inches wide of the Diamonds goalkeeper as the visitors continued to push forward.

Burgess’ effort on 84 minutes was heading goal bound until it took a wicked deflection off Wardley as Diamonds looked to see the game through in the final moments of the game.

Diamonds actually came close to a third in the closing stages of the game but Hall couldn’t find the target after beating two York players down the flank.

York grabbed a lifeline at the death when Bullock pulled a goal back, but it wasn’t enough for the visitors to leave Nene Park with maximum points

AT FULL TIME: DIAMONDS 2 YORK CITY 1

Diamonds: Turley, Underwood, Hunter, Wardley, Darby (Battersby 75), Burgess, Bignot, Bell, Hall, Dempster, Lowe.

Subs not used: Peters, Mills, Sambrook, Duffy.

Bookings: Darby (50), Lowe (70)

York City: Ingham, Edmonson, Cooper, Parkin, Brass, Bullock, Nogan, Shandran, Potter, Smith, Jones.

Subs not used: Cowan, Mathie, Stockdale, Wood, Wise.

Bookings: Jones (25), Parkin (48), Shandran (81)

Referee: Mr D Crick

Attendance: 4,463

Diamonds MOTM: John Dempster (Solid and spirited performance)

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