Rushden & Diamonds 0 Rochdale 0

 

Rushden and Diamonds failed to score for the third consecutive game as they claimed their fourth goalless draw of the season.In a drab encounter neither side ever looked likely to break the deadlock with Diamonds lack of attacking prowess again evident.

Rushden and Diamonds boss Ernie Tippett made no changes to the starting line-up for the visit of Rochdale, following Tuesdays defeat at Walsall.Rochdale boss Steve Parkin made four changes to his starting line-up from the side that triumphed in midweek against Scarborough bringing Neil Edwards, Leo Bertos, Paul Weller and James Clarke into the starting eleven.

Diamonds made a positive start and saw Kevin Braniff’s shot from the angle stray wide of Edwards right post after just four minutes.Two minutes later Gary Jones’ shot from the centre, just outside the box, was almost spilled by Billy Turley before he made the final save as Rochdale also looked to attack.Despite the early promise the game failed to live up to the opening tempo as a number of fouls spoilt the games flow.

On 15 minutes Jones again threatened as his shot went agonisingly wide of Turley’s right hand post, at the far corner.It took a further 10 minutes for the next chance to arrive as David Bell drilled an effort wide of the keeper’s left hand post from 40 yards following Alex Hay’s layoff.A minute later the Dale keeper almost spilled Sean Connelly’s right hand cross, with Braniff ready to pounce.

Paul Weller shot into the Peter De Banke Terrace on 30 minutes before the best opportunity of the game so far fell to Grant Holt as his effort from 12 yards was well saved by Turley, and cleared away by Phil Gulliver. Ernie Cooksey’s header from Tony Gallimore’s long free-kick had to be saved well by Turley before he touched over Gareth Griffiths’ header from Gallimore’s in-swinging corner as half time approached.

Diamonds brought on Marcus Kelly in the second half in an attempt to liven up the game in the place of Kevin Braniff, causing Craig Dove to move upfront to fill his gap.

Rochdale posed the early problems in the second period and Holt should have done better from Gallimore’s corner; however he instead headed it across the six yard box without testing Turley, after 52 minutes.Cooksey then played in Holt who this time tested Turley with a shot close to the near post which Turley palmed away well.

With Diamonds rarely threatening Ernie Tippett made a further change bringing on Jason Taylor for the ineffective Craig Dove with 65 minutes gone, but Dale still threatened and Diamonds escaped when Turley saved well from Cooksey’s shot after a mistake by Connelly.Dale also brought on a sub with Neil Brisco replacing Scott Warner, before Graham Allen worked his way into the book after a tough challenge, soon to be followed by Holt who was booked for dissent.

Cooksey headed well but saw his effort tipped over by Man of The Match Turley, from a Gallimore corner, before seeing the Diamonds keeper again save well from the next corner, after 76 minutes.A rare chance for Diamonds saw Connelly shoot agonisingly wide of the left hand far post after 79 minutes as the game looked increasingly likely to end goalless.

Briscoe’s shot got a rebound off Andy Burgess for a corner in injury time but aside from that neither side could sneak a goal, however Rochdale would have been the most disappointed of the two sides had they lost after having the bulk of the few clear cut chances. A point shared, but the performance would have disappointed the Diamonds who would prefer to secure points in a more creative fashion.

TEAMS:

Rushden and Diamonds: Turley, Connelly, Hawkins, Allen, Hay, Bell, Burgess, Sambrook, Braniff (sub Marcus Kelly 46), Gulliver, Dove (sub Taylor 65). Subs not used: Worgan, Gier, Dempster.

Rochdale AFC:Edwards, Evans, Gallimore, Cooksey, Griffiths, Bertos, Holt (sub Tait 88), Jones, Weller, Clarke, Warner (sub Brisco 69).Subs not used: Gilks, Proberts, Gibbins.

Referee: Mr P Joslin

Bookings: Allen, Holt

Attendance: 2619 (228 away)

Man of the Match: Billy Turley

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