Rushden & Diamonds 2 Wycombe Wanderers 0

By Steven Dove

Rodney Jack and Onandi Lowe were both on target as they eventually managed to break down a nine-man Wycombe Wanderers side.

Lawrie Sanchez’s side lost goalkeeper Frank Talia after only three minutes for a foul on Lowe and Chris Vinnicombe deep in the second-half for a second bookable offence.

However, Diamonds had to work hard for their victory and only broke down a resilient Wycombe defence on a few occasions.

Diamonds boss Brian Talbot made one change to his starting line-up from last week’s defeat against Oldham. Stuart Gray was drafted into midfield, replacing Gary Mills, who dropped to the bench.

Despite struggling with a toe injury, Jack partnered Lowe in attack with Duane Darby remaining on the bench.

Wycombe boss Lawrie Sanchez recalled Daniel Senda to his starting line-up replacing Stephen Dell whilst Jermaine McSporran started in attack.

Diamonds nearly opened the scoring on two minutes when Jack’s volley sailed wide of the Wycombe.

However, Wycombe were in trouble after only three minutes when goalkeeper Talia was dismissed for a clumsy tackle on Lowe, who was bearing down on the Wycombe goal.

With no goalkeeper on the bench, the responsibility between the sticks laid with Richard Harris.

Lowe’s pace and power was causing Wycombe all kinds of problems and his fierce shot, after skipping three challenges, struck the side netting on nine minutes.

Jack sent a looping header towards goal on 14 minutes, drifting wide of the target as Diamonds pilled on the pressure.

AFTER 15 MINS: Diamonds 0 Wycombe 0

Harris had yet to be tested in the Wycombe goal with the visitors standing firm and frustrating the home-side.

Chances were few and far between and Lowe’s well struck shot, which was saved by Harris, was given offside.

Diamonds created their best opportunity of the half on 28 minutes when Lowe’s surging run and shot was dragged wide of the Wycombe goal.

Hall had a shot cleared off the goal line from an indirect free-kick on 30 minutes as Diamonds threw bodies forward.

AFTER 30 MINS: Diamonds 0 Wycombe 0

And with Diamonds in total control of the game, it was little surprise that they took the lead on 35 minutes when Gray’s cross was spilled by Harris and poked home by Jack.

The goal upset Sanchez on the Wycombe bench and after confronting the linesman, he was sent to the stands by the referee to add to the visitor’s woe.

Gray’s deflected shot on 36 minutes left Harris stranded but he was saved as it rebounded off the woodwork.

Wycombe, who had been struggling to make an impact on the game, rarely threatened and Michael Simpson’s tame effort on 41 minutes failed to trouble Turley.

AT HALF TIME: Diamonds 1 Wycombe 0

Wycombe started the second-half brightly and McSporran should have brought the visitors back on level terms when he capitalized on a mistake from Andrew Samrbook, who had replaced Marcus Bignot at the start of the first-half, only to tamely hit his effort at Turley.

Jack was forced to limp off after 55 minutes and was replaced moments later by Darby.

Turley was called upon to make a point-blank save from Onoura as Wycombe made a tactical change swapping around their goalkeeper.

Steve Brown came on and took on the goalkeeper duties leaving Harris to move in attack and partner McSporran.

AFTER 60 MINS: Diamonds 1 Wycombe 1

Darby nearly pounced on a spillage from Brown on 66 minutes but the makeshift goalkeeper was able to grab hold of Bell’s cross from the right flank at the second attempt.

Diamonds were enjoying plenty of possession but couldn’t find a way past the Wycombe defence and Lowe’s wayward effort on 73 minutes never caused Brown any trouble.

AFTER 75 MINS: Diamonds 1 Wycombe 0

The visitors threw bodies forward in the closing stages as they tried to squander an equaliser.

Currie tried his luck on 77 minutes with a shot-cum-cross that never troubled Turley.

Diamonds created very little against the ten-men but it was credit to Wycombe who protected their makeshift goalkeeper exceptionally well.

However, Diamonds wrapped up the three points after Vinnicombe was sent off for a second bookable offence and Lowe smashed home the resulting free-kick.

Wycombe kept pushing forward but couldn’t find a way through as Diamonds kept their first clean sheet of the season.

AT FULL TIME: Diamonds 2 Wycombe 0

Diamonds: Turley, Bignot (Sambrook 14), Underwood, Edwards, Hunter, Jack (Darby 58), Burgess, Gray, Bell (Mills 73), Hall, Lowe

Subs not used: Dempster, Talbot.

Bookings: Gray (60)

Wycombe: Talia, Senda, Vinnicombe, Johnson, Rogers (Roberts 75), Currie, McSporran (Holligan 70), Bulman, Harris, Onoura (Brown 58), Simpson

Subs not used: Thomson, Dell

Bookings: Vinnicombe (16, 83), McSporran (17)

Sent Off: Talia (3) Vinnicombe (83)

Referee: Mr P.T Crossley.

Attendance: 4,192 (677 from Wycombe)

Diamonds’ MOTM: Paul Underwood.


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