Rushden and Diamonds 0 Macclesfield Town 2


Macclesfield produced the ultimate smash and grab performance as two goals, late on in both halves, saw them steal the points at Nene Park.

Rushden and Diamonds Manager Ernie Tippett made only one change to the starting line-up from last weekends defeat at Cambridge as Alex Hay was replaced by David Bell on the right-side of Midfield.Brian Horton made two changes from the side that triumphed in the midweek cup replay against Alfreton.Michael Welsh and Neil Mackenzie both started in place of Tony Barras and Ian Brightwell.

Diamonds made a positive start to the game and saw a good move end with a decent shot wide by Stuart Gray after 6 minutes.Craig Dove chipped the ball across field from the right to find Broughton in the box who laid the ball off for the supporting Gray, who blasted his effort from just inside the area, a yard wide of the keepers left post.Two minutes later Gary Mulligan was fouled, prompting the referee to signal a good advantage which gave Hawkins time to run down the left before crossing from near the by-line to find the header down of Broughton, which the keeper just managed to save.

The impressive start continued as Andy Burgess and Gray combined to set up another effort by the latter, struck hard and low but straight at the keeper, then Broughton saw his header from Dove’s out-swinging corner from the Diamonds right, tipped over the bar by the Silkmen keeper, Steve Wilson.

Little was seen of Macclesfield as an attacking force and it was Diamonds who looked the most threatening, with Gray particularly a potent threat.A brilliant chest down by Broughton allowed the former Reading man the chance to blast another effort from the centre, but again the goalkeeper showed safe hands, after 31 minutes.

The first attempt on goal for the visitors came in the 36th minute.Ex-Cobbler Paul Harsley punted a ball forward down the right wing towards Jon Parkin who had got behind the Diamonds defence.Parkin chipped the ball from wide on the right, 20 yards out, after seeing Turley out of his goal, but the effort drifted wide of the keeper’s far right post.

Against the run of play and from their first shot on target, Macclesfield took the lead.Mike Sheron and Parkin combined well, before the latter fed Graham Potter who found space in the centre of the defence and ran through to the centre of the area where he clipped the ball home with his right foot, after 43 minutes, past the helpless Turley.

Diamonds again dominated after the break and went close to levelling when Broughton’s firm header went narrowly wide of Steve Wilson’s right hand post, after Dove had seen off Harsley down the Diamonds left, after 55 minutes.Then 10 minutes later Sean Connelly’s crossed shot was handled well at the far post.

David Bell was replaced by Alex Hay after 68 minutes as Ernie Tippett looked to add an extra dimension to the Diamonds forward play that appeared to level off in the second half.Dove was replaced nine minutes later as Marvin Robinson entered a three pronged attack.

Turley’s throw launched a mazy run by Hay, who ran almost the length of the pitch before moving infield and seeing his shot saved well at the second attempt, after 81 minutes.Later Simon Weaver halted Broughton in his tracks, on the edge of the box, just to the left, to concede a free-kick and a yellow card.From the kick Connelly’s effort was deflected wide for a corner, with 5 minutes remaining.

Three minutes later the game was won by Macclesfield.A long punt forward from the keeper Wilson set up a battle for the ball between Allen and Parkin, which the front-man won before turning his man and rolling the ball onto his left foot, to shoot home past Turley from 15 yards to claim his eighth league goal of the season.

Diamonds dominance surely deserved at least a share of the spoils, but again a lack of decisiveness in and around the box cost the home side dear.


Rushden and Diamonds:


Turley, Connelly, Hawkins, Allen, Gray, Bell (sub Hay 68), Burgess, Broughton, Gulliver, Dove, Mulligan.Subs not used: Worgan, Gier, Robinson, Kelly.

Macclesfield Town FC:

Wilson, Potter, Carragher, Harsley, Parkin, Miles, Whitaker (sub Widdrington 85), Sheron, Welsh, Mackenzie, Weaver. Subs not used: Fettis, Tipton, Rooney, Briscoe.

Referee: Mr Williamson

Goals: Potter 43, Parkin 88

Bookings: Broughton 44 (persistent fouling), Weaver 85.

Attendance: 2643 (120 away)

Diamonds Man of the Match: Sean Connelly

By Richard Beeby


Cambridge United 3 Rushden & Diamonds 1


Rushden and Diamonds recorded their third consecutive away defeat at The Abbey Stadium on a bitterly cold winter’s afternoon.Teenage hot shot John Turner did the damage as he recorded a hat-trick of goals to damage the Diamonds hopes of continuing their recent good away form.

Ernie Tippett made two changes to the starting line-up from the side that triumphed at Bradford City the previous weekend.Loan stars Gary Mulligan and Drewe Broughton returned to lead the attack in place of youngster Jason Taylor and the FA Cup goal scoring hero Marvin Robinson who were placed on the bench alongside the fit again David Bell.

The troubled U’s saw boss Herve Renard make four changes to his side with Ipswich Town loan keeper Lewis Price, Darren Quinton, Richard Hodgson and recent absentee Luke Guttridge in the starting line-up.The U’s were looking to record only their third home win of the campaign and first point in the league since the mid October tip to Macclesfield Town.

Cambridge made a lively start to the game and were soon in front.Drewe Broughton was booked inside three minutes for unsporting behaviour before The U’s took the lead.Peter Hawkins was beaten by John Turner on the left before the home striker strode forward to shoot home with Billy Turley well off his line.

The torrid start continued as with their second note-worthy attack the hosts doubled their lead.Again a poor defensive mistake cost Diamonds dear as Graham Allen failed to make what looked like an easy clearance and was disposed by Turner.Turner again raced away, with Allen and Sean Connelly desperate to chase back however the player managed to slot home calmly from 15 yards, with just nine minutes gone.

After the hosts storming start Turley had to dive low to his left to save Richard Hodgson’s header from six yards following Shane Tudor’s cross from the right touchline, whilst Diamonds threatened at the other end through Mulligan and then Burgess’ first time snap shot, but the effort went well wide of Price’s goal.

Diamonds gradually battled back as Phil Gulliver looked to make amends on behalf of the defence as his header flashed across goal from Stuart Gray’s diagonal ball after 23 minutes, with the central defender still up-field following a previous corner.Three minutes later Alex Hay joined Broughton in the book, after receiving a yellow card from referee Mr Danson.

Hawkins pass to Craig Dove allowed the former Middlesbrough player to cross his shot from the left after 34 minutes; however the effort failed to test Price who gathered easily.Diamonds preserved though, and three minutes later Mulligan fed Gray for a shot from the left of centre, just outside the box, but again it was straight at the keeper.

Diamonds gave themselves a glimmer of hope five minutes before half-time.Following a period of Cambridge pressure Diamonds launched a neat attack where Burgess was able to feed Broughton who got in behind Andy Duncan in the hosts backline, before calmly slotting home from 15 yards at a slight angle past Price’s right hand post.

Before the break Diamonds were unlucky not to draw themselves level as Dove supplied three successive corners.From the second Broughton’s downward header at the keeper’s far left post was scrambled off the line by Guttridge whilst from the third, this time from the Diamonds right, Gulliver flashed his header wide of the left post.

Adam Tann was replaced by Daniel Gleeson at the start of the second half for the U’s due to a thigh injury.Diamonds made a better start after the break and Mulligan’s good work early on created a glorious opportunity for Dove to level, but the Cambridge keeper made himself big to block the effort from 10 yards.

Out of the blue Cambridge restored their two goal advantage.Hodgson’s low cross from the left touchline allowed Turner to slip inside and score at the near post to record his hat-trick after 51 minutes, just as Diamonds looked set to equalise.

As Diamonds desperately chased the game Hay was replaced by David Bell on the Diamonds right, after 56 minutes.Bell’s impact was little however as the game went in to a lull period, much to the delight of the hosts who were happy to play out time to record the vital a win.Hat-trick hero Turner was replaced by Kingsley M’bome after pulling up with cramp, after 69 minutes, whilst Diamonds switched to a three pronged attack after replacing Dove with Robinson.United completed their substitutions bringing off Guttridge for Ashley Fuller after 73 minutes.

Diamonds were constantly thwarted in their attempts to surge forward and could only record several late chances as the game drew to a close.Bell’s corner from the Diamonds right was headed wide by Gulliver after 85 minutes whilst Mulligan shot straight at the keeper from the right hand by-line, but it was United who had the best late chance.

Hawkins looked to have covered himself from the threat of Tudor, however the midfielder skinned the left back, on the touchline, before moving into the box and unleashing a shot which only missed the goal due to a rebound off his own team mate Danny Webb.

Overall this was a mightily disappointing result, and one which maybe flattered the hosts slightly as Diamonds were made to pay for their own defence lapses.



Cambridge United:

Price, Duncan, Tann (sub Gleeson 46), Goodhind, Tudor, Webb, Gutteridge (sub Fuller 73), Turner (sub M’borne 69), Quinton, Bimson, Hodgson.Subs not used: Marshall, Easter.

Rushden and Diamonds:

Turley, Connelly, Hawkins, Allen, Hay (sub Bell 56), Gray, Burgess, Broughton, Gulliver, Dove (sub Robinson 69), Mulligan.Subs not used: Dempster, Worgan,Taylor.

Referee: Mr P Danson

Bookings: Broughton, Hay

Goals: Turner 4 min, Turner 9 min, Broughton 40 min, Turner 51 min,

Attendance: 3466 (640 away)

Diamonds Man of the Match: Gary Mulligan

By Richard Beeby

Bradford City 0 Rushden and Diamonds 1


Rushden and Diamonds left it late to snatch a fully deserved victory at Valley Parade in the FA Cup First Round.Marvin Robinson headed home with three minutes of normal time remaining to round off a superb debut performance.Ernie Tippett’s side battled bravely against their League One hosts on a bitterly cold afternoon in Yorkshire.

Rushden and Diamonds Manager Ernie Tippett made four enforced changes to his side as they took on Bradford City.Loan strikers Drewe Broughton and Gary Mulligan were missing due to suspension and Wolves refusal to allow Mulligan to play respectively, whilst David Bell didn’t travel with the squad due to injury and Sean Connelly replaced the injured Rob Gier at right-back.Jason Taylor made his first ever FA Cup appearance for the club, starting upfront alongside the non-contracted Marvin Robinson.

Diamonds made a positive start with Robinson testing Paul Henderson in the Bradford goal within the first 20 seconds of the game after being played in by Andy Burgess.Bradford struggled to get into the game but did see a promising opportunity when Nicky Summerbee swung in a free-kick from the Bantams right hand near side; 10 yards into the Diamonds own half, only for Dean Windass to put his shot on the volley wide of Turley’s right post from inside the box, after 8 minutes.

Neat play down the Bantams right between Symes and Summerbee resulted in the latter supplying a telling right footed cross into the box towards Windass, however Turley gathered calmly with Phil Gulliver in support, after 16 minutes.Diamonds also continued to probe and Gray’s through ball to the lively Robinson on 23 minutes saw the former Derby man pass across goal from the left by-line towards Jason Taylor, but the youngster only half struck his effort as he failed to test the keeper.

A superb cross from the left from Dove left Robinson with a free header at Henderson’s far post as he shrugged off his marker Mark Bower, however the header down lacked the power to beat the keeper after 31 minutes.Tom Kearney received a yellow card four minutes later after ending Alex Hay’s forward run, however Sean Connelly could do little with the resultant free-kick and allowed the Bantams to break and earn themselves a corner. Windass again posed the threat as his snap shot swerved away from goal following Summerbee’s kick.

Stuart Gray worked his way into the book for a foul; moments after being spoken to for a previous incident, but as home fans began to grow restless Diamonds still pressed forward.Burgess had two chances for the visitors before the break, firing wide on both occasions.The first chance came from 25 yards followed by the second when Taylor’s neat header down in the area eluded the home defence and found Burgess, however he couldn’t keep his hopeful shot down.

The Bantams saw Windass shoot wide of Turley’s right post from distance three minutes into the second half after being supplied by Ben Muirhead. The hosts looked to up their tempo and as they began to get on top Muirhead tested Turley with a low shot from the left of the area, just 5 yards in, after being supplied by Michael Symes.In another opportunity defence was turned into attack as Bradford raced away up-field where David Holloway’s cross allowed Symes to head towards goal, only for Turley to spread himself across to make the save.

Whilst Diamonds were on the back foot, defensively they were sound, with Sean Connelly dealing with the pacey Muirhead whilst Graham Allen and Gulliver kept firm tabs on Windass. The Bantams looked to increase the threat to the Diamonds defence by replacing Symes with Danny Forrest with 12 minutes left to go.

As the game looked increasingly likely to end goalless Diamonds battled to sneak a late victory. On 84 minutes Dove squared a ball from the left into the path of Burgess, however his shot was too weak to truly test the keeper whilst Summerbee saw his free-kick from 10 yards outside the box, to the left, saved by Turley who had to dive low to claim it.

The vital break through came after 87 minutes. Dove whose supply all afternoon was good, this time crossed from the right to Robinson who was able to head home at Henderson’s far right post to complete a brilliant debut performance and delight the loyal band of visiting fans.

The Bantams battled hard to force a draw but found no way past a stubborn and resilient Diamonds defence, as Diamonds held out to knock out their higher ranked opposition and provide a welcome boost to the Nene Park finances.



Bradford City FC:

Henderson, Kearney, Wetherall, Bower, Shumacher, Symes (sub Forrest 78), Summerbee, Windass, Holloway, Muirhead, Emanuel.Subs not used: Ricketts, Crooks, Gavin, Swift.

Rushden and Diamonds FC:

Turley, Connelly, Hawkins, Gray, Gulliver, Hay, Allen, Burgess, Robinson, Dove, Taylor.Subs not used: Kennedy, Dempster, Kelly, Sambrook, Worgan.

Referee: Mr C Boyeson

Bookings: Kearney, Gray

Goals: Robinson 87

Attendance: 4171

Diamonds Man of the Match: Marvin Robinson

By Richard Beeby

Rushden & Diamonds 1 Darlington 2


Rushden and Diamonds were extremely unlucky to be on the end of a 2-1 defeat at Nene Park. Diamonds battled well throughout but were regularly thwarted by the impressive Sam Russell in the Quakers goal.

Rushden and Diamonds boss Ernie Tippett made one enforced change to the side that triumphed 5-1 against Notts County last weekend as Peter Hawkins was replaced by Andy Burgess at left back due to suspension.Darlington boss David Hodgson also made just one change due to injury to Alun Armstrong with Craig Russell replacing him.

Both sides looked bright in the opening stages but it was Diamonds who created the first clear cut opportunity. Following a neat move, Burgess crossed from the left to find the head of Drewe Broughton at the far post but his effort went wide, after eight minutes.

Darlington plugged away and showed some neat passing movements and eventually the pressure told.Adolfo Gregorio and Clyde Wijnhard combined well with a neat one two as the Quakers moved into the box, Billy Turley rushed out to avert the danger and appeared to bring down Gregorio however the referee waved play on, allowing Craig Hignett to close in and slot home into an empty net from the left angle, after 20 minutes.

Rob Gier limped off the pitch to be replaced by Sean Connelly after 26 minutes and Diamonds battled hard to try and find a breakthrough.Stuart Gray was booked for a foul after 33 minutes, followed a minute later by Broughton for persistent fouling, in between a brilliant effort by Gary Mulligan.The on-loan Wolves youngster latched onto Hay’s header and stepped inside before shooting from 15 yards, only to see his strong effort saved well by Russell in the Darlington goal.

A flurry of corners from the Diamonds ended in a comfortable save by Russell from Gray’s volley from the edge of the box, following Dove’s out-swinging corner from the Diamonds right, after 39 minutes.Three minutes later Burgess’ cross from the left found Broughton but his header went straight into the hands of the goalkeeper.

Gray saw his chip go narrowly over the bar at the start of the second half as the Diamonds came firing out of the blocks.A minute later Mulligan turned well and struck an impressive snap shot from 10 yards which was drew a superb reflex save by Russell.

Much of the second half was played inside Darlington’s own half with Diamonds doggedly sticking to their task, however finding a breakthrough was difficult.Phil Gulliver surged forward to shoot from distance but saw his effort comfortably saved by Russell, after 61 minutes.

David Bell struck a free-kick straight into the arms of Russell from the centre, just outside the box after 80 minutes as Diamonds still rallied; however two minutes later Darlington doubled their lead in their first strike on target in the second half.Substitute Neil Wainwright supplied a deep cross from the right which seemed to be heading safely for the hands of Turley, however Hignett managed to nip in and tuck the ball away from close range at the far post, before being substituted and replaced by Adrian Webster.

Despite the further set back within two minute’s Diamonds reduced the deficit.Dove’s free-kick from the Diamonds left was headed by Gray, before falling to Mulligan who struck home from 10 yards leaving the keeper with no chance. The goal however proved too little too late and the Diamonds ended up on the end of an undeserved defeat.


Rushden and Diamonds: Turley, Allen, Gier (for Connelly 26), Hay, Gray, Bell, Burgess, Broughton, Gulliver, Dove, Mulligan.Subs not used: Worgan, Dempster, Kelly, Taylor.

Darlington: Russell, Valentine, Wijnhard, Clarke, Clark, Gregorio (for Wainwright 69), Russell, Kendrick, Hignett (sub Webster 83), Maddison, Close.Subs not used: Price, Keltie, McGurk.

Referee: Mr K Hill

Bookings: Gray, Broughton.

Goals: Hignett 20, Hignett 82.

Attendance: 3036 (281 away)

Diamonds Man of the match: Gary Mulligan (committed display and denied more goals).

By Richard Beeby.

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