Rushden & Diamonds 5 Notts County 1

Rushden and Diamonds made history as they put in a superb performance at Nene Park to sweep aside a sorry Notts County side with Drewe Broughton bagging the fastest ever goal at Nene Park whilst also securing his first ever career hat-trick.

Rushden and Diamonds boss Ernie Tippett made two changes to the side that drew 1-1 at Bury last weekend.Rob Gier started at right-back in place of the injured Sean Connelly whilst David Bell returned to the line-up at the expense of John Dempster who was dropped to the bench.

Diamonds made a storming start to the game going in front after just 10 seconds.Stuart Gray played the ball out from the kick off for Drewe Broughton to head on to Gary Mulligan, who played the ball back to Broughton who struck a sweet right footed shot from the centre, 20 yards out, into the bottom corner of Saul Deeney’s net.It was the first goal for Broughton since joining the club on loan from Southend United.

Diamonds continued to press and saw Mulligan’s header from a Craig Dove corner palmed clear after 6 minutes, but only had to wait a further 5 minutes to go further in front.David Bell did brilliantly to turn former Northampton Town player Rob Ullathorne on the right hand touchline, after Dove’s pass, before hooking over a cross which met the rising head of Broughton who powered home, to double his tally.

Good work from Dove provided a cross from the right which was misjudged by the Magpies Mike Whitlow but Broughton failed to connect after 22 minutes as Diamonds looked to further their lead.At the other end only glimpses of threat were seen from Notts County with Diamonds coping admirably when needed at the back, in fact until the 31st minute a real clear cut opportunity failed to occur.Tony Scully’s free-kick from the left, close to the score board, drifted into the box and was cleared only as far as Stefan Oakes who hit the ball on the volley only to see his effort go wide of Billy Turley’s right hand post.

Diamonds were well and truly on form and found themselves 3-0 in front before the break.Bell knocked the ball onto Gray who played in Dove who launched a wonderful right footed curling strike into Deeney’s top left hand corner, leaving the keeper helpless.The goal cued a move for the exits by some County fans whilst Diamonds were in jubilant mood.

Bell and Gray combined well for Diamonds first attempt on goal in the second half.Bell played the ball to Gray who then returned his pass to the youngster, before Bell ran forward down the centre and into the box where his shot was superbly pushed over the bar by Deeney to deny a goal.Two minutes later the lead was stretched further, as Broughton headed back from the by-line to Dove who struck home with his left foot after 51 minutes.

In response to the goal County boss Gary Mills replaced Chris Palmer with David Pipe, much to the annoyance of the visiting fans, however Pipe made an instant impact.Paul Bolland broke free down the left and rolled the ball across for Pipe to knock home past a helpless Turley after 55 minutes, just two minutes after entering the field of play.

The goal gave the Magpies a sudden glimmer of hope and slackness threatened to take hold.Geoff Hurst’s cross found the head of Scully, who had raced ahead of Gier, only for the player to head wide with Turley out of his goal, after 61 minutes.

Any fear of a comeback was soon averted as Broughton bagged his hat-trick and the Diamonds fifth.Bell’s chip from the right towards the left hand post found Broughton who was pushed by Matthew Gill, leaving the referee with no choice but to point to the spot.Broughton stepped up to take the spot kick and scored, only for the referee to order for the kick to be taken again, however Broughton again beat the keeper striking slightly off centre and to the right past Deeney, after 67 minutes.

A double substitution saw Ullathorne replaced by Emmet Friars after 68 minutes, soon to be followed by Shane McFaul replacing Matthew Gill.The Diamonds then made a substitution themselves, replacing the superb Broughton with Jason Taylor, with the latter receiving a deserved standing ovation.

Craig Dove had the opportunity to match Broughton’s hat-trick from the spot after Mulligan was tugged back by Whitlow to concede a penalty, after 81 minutes.Dove stood up confidently but saw his effort saved well by the keeper who dived to his right.Dove then was subbed off to make way for Marcus Kelly for the latter stages of the game.

Late on Bell twice went close, striking hard and low from distance after 86 minutes and then chipping just over the bar minutes later as Diamonds refused to be content with their five goals, but ultimately in the end they had to be.This performance was arguably the best of the season so far and the confidence shown by the team would have impressed the fans, and with another home game against Darlington to come lets hope the momentum can be kept.

TEAMS:

 

Rushden and Diamonds: Turley, Hawkins, Allen, Gier, Hay, Gray, Bell, Broughton (for Taylor 75), Gulliver, Dove, Mulligan.Subs not used: Worgan, Dempster, Kelly, Kennedy.

Notts County FC: Deeney, Whitlow, Oakes, Gill (for McFaul 73), Gordon, Hurst, Scully, Palmer (for Pipe 53), Bolland, Ullathorne (for Friars 68), Kelvin Wilson. Subs not used: Mildenhall, Friars, McFaul, O’Grady.

Referee: Mr C Penton (Sussex)

Bookings: Hawkins,Gordon, Wilson

Goals: Broughton (10 seconds), Broughton 11, Dove 41, Dove 51, Broughton penalty 67 min.

Attendance: 3504 (775 away)

Diamonds Man of the Match: David Bell

By Richard Beeby

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