Grimsby Town 0 Rushden & Diamonds 0

Rushden and Diamonds claimed their second successive away point with a goalless draw at Blundell Park.Diamonds had to doggedly stick to their task as they looked to keep up the pace with the relegation pack.

Grimsby made two changes to the line-up from the side that slumped to a 3-1 defeat at Bury on Good Friday with Michael Reddy and Ronnie Bull both missing allowing Stacy Coldicott to move up from the bench to start whilst Midfielder Terry Fleming returned after serving a one match ban.

Rushden also made two changes dropping Alex Hay to the bench in favour of the fit again David Bell whilst Peter Hawkins returned at left-back following a two game suspension.Andy Burgess moved back into Midfield after deputising for Hawkins in recent weeks whilst Craig Dove continued on the left leaving Billy Sharp as the Diamonds lone man upfront.

The Mariners had the better of the possession early on and could boast the greater share of the chances in a tight and fairly dour first half, although Diamonds did progressively get into the game as time went on.

Grimsby started brightly and saw Andy Parkinson fire narrowly wide of Scott Shearer’s right hand post inside the first two minutes after being set up well by Matt Harrold.The Mariners continued to have the greater of the possession and saw Martin Gritton fire a 30 yard shot wide of the left post with 12 minutes gone.

Justin Whittle’s downfield diagonal ball into the box was flicked on well by Gritton for Harrold to get a touch at the far post but Shearer was alert to save bravely, after 19 minutes.Harrold and Gritton combined well again when the latter put a brilliant ball forward only for Gritton to take a touch too many and allow Shearer to rush out and make the save, after 24 minutes.

Diamonds eventually came more into the game and saw Burgess shoot high over the bar from just outside the box, to the left of centre, after good build up play between himself, Dove and Hawkins, on 30 minutes.

At the other end Thomas Pinault’s 33rd minute half volley went wide of the left post whilst Pinault’s free-kick towards the far post allowed Gritton to flick on with Harrord unlucky not to make a final touch to open the scoring, two minutes later.

The best chance of the first half came after 40 minutes and fell to the Mariner’s when Pinault’s ball into the box found Harrord who smashed the ball at an angle with his left foot from 6 yards; however Shearer somehow saved with Gier making the final clearance.Three minutes later Bell wasted a golden opportunity for the Diamonds from a 30 yard free-kick when he blasted high and wide as the first half came to a close.

Diamonds forced two corners at the start of the second half but could do little with them and it was the hosts who again came close when Harrord fired a curling shot from just inside the box narrowly over the bar, with 52 minutes gone.

Phil Gulliver had to be alert to hurriedly knock away Shearer’s palmed save from a fine Fleming header from the centre of the box after Jason Crowe had supplied him with a left wing cross, after 58 minutes.

Shearer had to pull of a fine reflex save to deny Parkinson from ten yards, pushing the right footed shot wide of his far post after 63 minutes.Grimsby then made a change replacing Stacy Coldicott with Graham Hockless a minute later.

Diamonds themselves made a change after 71 minutes as Sharp, who had worked tirelessly without reward as the lone ban upfront, was replaced by Adrian Littlejohn.Diamonds then brought on Hay for Dove minutes later.

Pinault volleyed well wide with 77 minutes gone before Grimsby also made a second change with David Soames replacing Gritton.Sean Connelly had to hack away substitute Hockless’ dangerous ball into the box after 83 minutes, with Fleming wasting an effort from the resultant corner.

As Diamonds looked to grab a late winner Burgess raced forward but placed his right footed effort wide of the keeper’s right post whilst at the other end Soames fancied his chances from long-range with a shot that flashed wide, after 86 minutes.

Soames shot wide of Shearer’s right post in the dying minutes before a frantic finale.Diamonds looked to have won the game when Littlejohn was fouled by Forbes to earn Diamonds a free-kick on the edge of the box, to the left of centre, which McCafferty struck well but the deflection off the wall hit the keeper’s right post and was hurriedly cleared by Justin Whittle.At the other end Diamonds saw Shearer punch through a crowded area to deny Soames once more, deep into injury time.

Despite the frantic end nothing could be done to break the deadlock as both defences came out on top and Diamonds secured successive goalless draws on the road.With defeats for both Cambridge and Kidderminster at home this is certainly a point gained rather than two dropped in the bid to avoid relegation to the Nationwide Conference.

Diamonds now have six games to secure their League Two status starting with a massive game against high flying Yeovil.What is certain is that Diamonds must secure a better points return over the next six games than in their previous clashes against the forthcoming opposition which saw them claim just one point, that coming against Bristol Rovers.

TEAMS:

 

Grimsby Town:

Williams, Forbes, Crowe, McDermott, Harrold, Pinault, Parkinson, Caldicott (Hockless 64), Whittle, Fleming, Gritton (Soames 80).Subs not used: Crane, Downey, Jones.

Rushden and Diamonds:

Shearer, Connelly, Hawkins, Gier, Gray, Sharp (Littlejohn 71), Bell, Burgess, Gulliver, Dove (Hay 74), McCafferty.Subs not used: Dempster, Taylor, Afandiyev.

Referee: Mr J J Ross

Attendance: 4566 (205 away)

Diamonds Man of the Match: Rob Gier

By Rich Beeby

Rushden & Diamonds 1 Lincoln City 4

 

Three late goals from Lincoln City condemned Rushden and Diamonds to their 8th home league defeat of the season and heaviest since an identical reverse in early September at home to Southend, in a game which turned on Drewe Broughton’s sending off.

Rushden and Diamonds newly appointed boss Barry Hunter made one enforced change to the Diamonds starting line-up from the side that drew at Kidderminster with Phil Gulliver returning in central defence for Mark Williams who was on international duty with Northern Ireland.Elsewhere Sean Connelly started his 500th league and cup appearance as Diamonds Captain.

Lincoln City named two former Diamonds players in their sixteen with Richard Butcher starting in midfield whilst Richie Hanlon made his way onto the bench.Former Northampton Town man Derek Asamoah led the Imp’s attack.

Lincoln started the brightest and forced Scott Shearer into a brave save as Kevin Sandwith’s corner was headed on by Butcher and flicked on by Asamoah who had the last touch, inside the opening two minutes.

After much hassling from Lincoln early on Diamonds earned themselves a free-kick 10 yards outside the box when Broughton was fouled. Neil McCafferty struck the kick from just left of centre with some power only to see Alan Marriott get across to tip the ball aside to his right at the near post, after 7 minutes.A minute later Billy Sharp headed weakly after Gulliver’s strong head on towards the six yard box.

Simon Yeo struck from 25 yards out after 11 minutes to allow Shearer to make an easy save, but as Diamonds began to get on top in the game they took the lead with 11 minutes gone.Hay supplied Broughton who fed Sharp who moved the ball onto his left foot, beat two men, and struck a sweet shot into Marriott’s left hand post to claim his fifth goal on his eleventh appearance for the club.

Hay fed Sharp again a minute after the goal allowing the youngster to cross dangerously from the right wing towards Stuart Gray who headed narrowly over the crossbar as Diamonds pushed to double their advantage.

After taking the lead the Diamonds were soon forced back though as the Red Imp’s equalised on a great break.McCafferty failed to pick up Gray’s pass in the middle of the park allowing Peter Gain to take hold of the ball before passing left to Yeo who riffled a firm and outstanding shot from just inside the box into the top left corner of Shearer’s net, after 19 minutes.

Diamonds continued to press despite the goal and McCafferty’s curling cross from the right found the flying, darting head of Broughton who was unlucky to see his effort go narrowly wide of the keeper’s left post from six yards, after 25 minutes.

Francis Green found himself incredibly lucky to remain on the pitch after squaring up to Shearer after a Red Imp’s attack and got away with just a yellow card after 41 minutes in the last incident of note in an action packed opening half, with the referee appearing extremely lenient.

Diamonds kicked off the second half attacking towards the Airwair Stand however the early action did little to compare to the first half.

McCafferty was booked for dissent after 58 minutes and a minute later Diamonds came close to scoring when Gulliver’s header had the keeper desperately clawing back to catch the ball.Diamonds then saw Dove’s throw set up Sharp who shot a curling effort just past Marriott’s left hand post after 62 minutes before the Red Imp’s made a change bringing off former Cobbler Asamoah for Gary Taylor-Fletcher.

Yeo earned himself a yellow card for dissent after 71 minutes when Diamonds were given a free-kick.Ahead of the resultant kick scuffles broke out in the box and Broughton was sent off after the assistant referee spotted his stamp on Gareth Mcauley’s foot inside the box amid the many rough challenges taking place.

With ten men Diamonds were soon left to chase the game as Ben Futcher got the last touch to a header on from a Kevin Sandwith free-kick to send the ball past a desperate Shearer inside the top right post, after 74 minutes.

With little in support Sharp had to test Marriott from distance with a low struck shot on 77 minutes but two minutes later the game was as good as over for Diamonds when Taylor-Fletcher squared his ball from the left into Jamie McCombe who struck home impressively from just inside the box, low towards Shearer’s far left post, leaving him helpless.

Diamonds made a change to bring off Dove for Adrian Littlejohn after 82 minutes to supply Diamonds with some extra help going forward but a minute later Taylor-Fletcher’s shotfrom six yards after Green’s pass had ensured Diamonds would fall to their heaviest defeat at home in 2005.

Lincoln made a further change bringing on former Diamond Hanlon for Green straight after the goal before Diamonds replaced Burgess with Marcus Kelly on 85 minutes.Then to ease time McAuley came off for Matthew Bloomer leaving Diamonds with little effort to even grab what would have been a mere consolation.

Diamonds will be obviously disappointed at the defeat although they will only be too aware that their play until the games turning point had certainly merited at least a share of the spoils.A win away from home at Grimsby on Monday could prove the perfect tonic for the Diamonds to put this result to bed which came against a Lincoln side that played nothing more than "ugly" football and claimed a flattering result on the night.

TEAMS:

Rushden and Diamonds:

Shearer, Connelly, Gier, Hay, Gray, Sharp, Burgess (Kelly 85), Broughton, Dove (Littlejohn 82), McCafferty, Gulliver.Subs not used: Afandiyev, Dempster, Kelly, Taylor.

Lincoln City FC:

Marriott, Sandwith, Futcher, Morgan, Butcher, Yeo, Gain, McAuley (Bloomer 88), Asamoah (Taylor-Fletcher 64), McCombe, Green (Hanlon 84).Subs not used: Carruthers, Blackwood.

Referee: Mr Fred Graham

Goals: Sharp 11, Yeo 19, Futcher 74, McCombe 79, Taylor-Fletcher 83.

Bookings: Green 41, McCafferty 58, Yeo 71

Sending Off: Broughton 72

Attendance: 4213 (1274 away)

Diamonds Man of the Match: Billy Sharp

By Rich Beeby.

Kidderminster Harriers 0 Rushden & Diamonds 0

 

Kidderminster Harriers and Rushden and Diamonds played out a goalless draw for the second time this season in a tense but entertaining battle at the Aggborough Stadium.

Harriers made only one change to the side that won at Notts County the previous weekend as Tom Bennett missed out due to suspension allowing Lee Jenkins to take his place in the centre of midfield.

Barry Hunter was forced to make changes ahead of the vital clash.Diamonds saw Andy Burgess return to the side at left back for the suspended Peter Hawkins whilst David Bell’s ankle injury saw Alex Hay start on the right of midfield, elsewhere the Diamonds remained unchanged.

Both sides came into the game on the back of a good run of form and both having won vital games in the previous week and so tension was understandably high as both sides looked to clinch all three points.

Diamonds started brightly with the better of the possession however Scott Shearer had to be alert after 4 minutes to punch clear the danger from John McGrath’s dangerous cross into the box.Two minutes later Diamonds had a golden opportunity when Billy Sharp ran free of the Harrier’s defence after latching onto a loose ball, however with the keeper rushing out  committed, the Sheffield United loan star fired narrowly wide of John Danby’s far left post from just inside the box, having seemed odds on to score.

As Diamonds impressive start continued Drewe Broughton controlled well with his chest before placing the ball to the right to Sharp who played a brilliant ball across the face of the goal with Craig Dove unable to connect after 8 minutes.

Shearer dived well low to his left to deny Wayne Hatswell after Blair Sturrock had supplied the Harriers skipper after 14 minutes and at the other end Stuart Gray’s turn and smash from distance saw Danby save well.

Sean Connelly’s ball up-field into the box was controlled well by Sharp as he turned to shoot however the Harriers keeper Danby stuck a brave left hand out to deny the youngster, after 23 minutes.

Harriers forced several moments of worry inside a minute for the Diamonds with a series of telling crosses from both flanks with Johnny Mullins eventually coming closest with a header that went wide of Shearer’s left post, after 25 minutes.A minute later Hatswell headed into the hands of Shearer from a Dean Keates left wing corner.

As the first half came to a close McGrath drilled a 37th minute effort wide of Shearer’s left post from distance and Blair Sturrock fired high over the bar.At the opposite end Dove turned and ran infield before shooting his low, right footed effort, inches wide of Danby’s right hand post.

Harriers almost took the lead early on in the second period.Chris Beardsley and Lee Jenkins created a good move for the hosts which saw the latter fire his shot towards goal; however Shearer made a superb save to his right at full stretch with Connelly clearing off the line for a corner, after 49 minutes.

Two minutes later Hatswell’s hooked shot from the left of the box went wide as Harriers started the second period firmly on top.In response Diamonds saw Drewe Broughton fire a tame shot wide of Danby’s left post in front a packed away end filled with Diamonds fans.

Sharp cracked some Harriers heal’s with his shot from inside the box with Alex Hay firing the rebound fiercely towards goal and earning the Diamonds a corner on 57 minutes.

Harriers made a change bringing on Simon Russell for Lee Jenkins after 61 minutes with former Diamonds man Mark Rawle also making an entrance in place of Sturrock, three minutes later.

Hay had to clear off his own line after Keates in-swinging corner from the left after 66 minutes as Diamonds struggled to make any headway in the second half going forward.

Diamonds could have had themselves a penalty when Mark Williams received a blatant shove in the back after 71 minutes however referee Steve Dunn refused to give it.Two minutes after that Hay cracked another shot from the edges of the box which forced Danby into a fine save to his left.

Keates free-kick from the left hand flank, towards the throw line was curled long into the box towards Rawle who headed narrowly over after 76 minutes.A minute later Chris Beardsley was replaced by Isyeden Christie to complete the Harriers substitutions.

Marcus Kelly came on to replace Craig Dove after 80 minutes as Diamonds looked to add a different dimension for the closing stages.

Johnny Mullins supplied Russell with a ball out to the right which the latter fired forward towards goal, with Shearer getting a touch to deflect the ball away for a corner, after 84 minutes as Kidderminster came close to breaking the deadlock late on.

Rawle’s dangerous cross allowed Russell to shoot but only into the side netting after 87 minutes before Diamonds looked to play out time bringing on Adrian Littlejohn for Sharp with just a minute of normal time to go.

With three minutes of time signalled by the fourth official both sides looked to go forward but neither could grab the elusive and dramatic late winner as the game finished with an identical result to that recorded on the opening game of the season at Nene Park.

An away point is always precious but just how precious this one point could prove will only be known in coming weeks as the season draws to a tense close.

Teams:

Kidderminster Harriers:

Danby, Jenkins (Russell 61), Mullins, Beardsley (Christie 77), Weaver, Keates, Sturrock (Rawle 64), Cozic, Hatswell, McGrath, Jackson.Subs not used: Lewis, Jones.

Rushden and Diamonds:

Shearer, Connelly, Gier, Hay, Gray, Sharp (Littlejohn 89), Burgess, Broughton, Dove (Kelly 80), McCafferty, Williams.Subs not used: Dempster, Worgan,Gulliver.

Referee: Mr Steve Dunn (Gloucestershire)

Attendance: 3860 (605 away)

Diamonds Man of the Match: Mark Williams.

By Rich Beeby.

Rushden and Diamonds 3 Northampton Town 2

Rushden and Diamonds left it late to secure a deserved and vital victory at a packed Nene Park against their local rivals.

Billy Sharp kept his composure to smash home the winning goal with just 22 seconds of injury time remaining to send the home fans in to raptures at the end of a tense, frantic and hugely entertaining battle.

Rushden and Diamonds made three changes to the starting line-up from the side defeated at Scunthorpe United.Lee Worgan lost his place in goal to returning loan keeper Scott Shearer whilst David Bell’s return from a bout of flu left Alex Hay on the bench.Meanwhile Craig Dove made his first start since early February’s defeat at Chester City due to the absence of Andy Burgess on the left wing with a back injury.

Northampton included hot shot Andy Kirk in their line-up having acquired his services in midweek from Boston United.Tommy Jaszczun and David Rowson both missed out whilst Luke Chambers started the game after moving up from the subs bench.Danny Crow and Lee Barnard both moved the other way after the defeat at Rochdale.

Diamonds made a storming start to the match and took a lead in the sixth minute with their first noteworthy attack.Peter Hawkins surged into the box before neatly playing the ball left to Drewe Broughton who was lurking close to goal, causing Lee Harper to slide out of his goal and make a hashed effort to save allowing Broughton to feed Hawkins to tuck home inside the far post.

Shearer had to save well low to his left to deny Scott McGleish after his shot from the edges of the area having been played in by Charley Hearn, after 11 minutes.At the other end Sean Connelly fancied his chances from 40 yards as he drove his shot narrowly wide of Harper’s left hand post on 22 minutes after Gray’s ball out to the right.Two minutes later Broughton’s header was too weak to test Harper after Bell’s precise right wing cross.

Broughton was lucky to not get booked for a messy challenge on Hearn after 27 minutes.Then Peter Hawkins push on Josh Low set up a promising free-kick for the Cobblers a minute later which Martin Smith drifted in from the left of the box, 5 yards from the edge, towards the far post where McGleish headed against Shearer’s right hand post.

Diamonds bossed all the chances in the first half and could have doubled their lead on 34 minutes when Connelly played in a 30 yard free-kick from the right which was headed towards Rob Gier by Mark Williams with Gier heading narrowly wide of the far left post.

Despite having all the chances, just as it looked like Diamonds would take a deserved lead into the break the Cobblers stole themselves a precious equaliser that their first half performance barely deserved. Martin Smith’s snap shot from 30 yards was dropped by Shearer who tried to hurry the ball away but the goal got given to send the Cobblers fans wild in the Airwair Stand, after 45 minutes.

Diamonds made the worst possible start to the second half as they fell behind on 51 minutes when Josh Low crossed from the left by-line for Kirk to head home his first goal on his debut for the Cobblers.

Diamonds hardly had to wait long for an equaliser though as Chris Willmott stupidly conceded a clear penalty after bringing down Sharp in the box.Broughton stepped up to take the penalty and confidently struck it to the right past Harper who dived to his left, after 55 minutes.The penalty strike was Broughton’s first goal since rejoining the club on a permanent basis last month.

Broughton was harshly booked by the referee for a “physical” challenge after 66 minutes before Alex Hay replaced Dove.A minute later Chris Willmott was also booked after a foul.

As Diamonds looked for a lead Connelly swerved his shot over the bar on 69 minutes before McCafferty’s 30 yard free-kick, just to the right of the centre, went wide of the keeper’s left post after 75 minutes.

Diamonds made a second change bringing off David Bell, who limped off with what looked like an ankle injury to be replaced by Adrian Littlejohn forcing Hay to switch from the left to the right wing, on 78 minutes.Two minutes later Josh Low came off for David Galbraith for the Cobblers.

As the game reached its final stages Peter Hawkins was booked on 85 minutes meaning he will now miss the next two games through suspension.

Going forward Kirk shot across the 6 yard box into the hands of Shearer after a long ball forward after 87 minutes whilst Sharp shot way over the bar at the other end.Both sides then made late changes as Jason Taylor replaced Drewe Broughton for Diamonds and Danny Crow replaced Kirk, after 88 minutes.

In a frantic finale Gier bravely blocked Fred Murray’s strong shot to concede a corner and Willaimson’s crossed shot hit the top of the netting.But just as in the first half their was a late twist, and Diamonds grabbed the winning goal.

With just 22 seconds remaining of the three in injury time Rob Gier intercepted the ball and made a long up-field clearance which fell for Billy Sharp who kept his composure superbly to pump the ball past a helpless Lee Harper to send three sides of Nene Park wild.

With late goals going against Diamonds in recent times to finally get a late winner was a superb way to end a great clash, and the result was just about fair.One result doesn’t make a season however and there are three more vital points to pick up next week at Kidderminster.

Rushden and Diamonds:

Shearer, Connelly, Hawkins, Gier, Gray, Sharp, Bell (Littlejohn 78), Broughton (Taylor 88), Dove (Hay 66), McCafferty, Williams.Subs not used: Worgan, Dempster.

Northampton Town:

Harper, Chambers, Willmott, Murray, Kirk (Crow 88), Low (Galbraith 80), McGleish, Hearn, Smith, Bojic, Williamson.Subs not used: Bunn, Sabin, Barnard.

Referee: Mr P Taylor

Goals: Hawkins 6, Smith 45, Kirk 51, Broughton pen 55, Sharp 90+2.

Bookings: Broughton 66, Willmott 67, Hawkins 85

Attendance: 5520 (2333 away)

Diamonds Man of the Match: Peter Hawkins (strong determined performance, one of many in the Diamonds team.)

Report by Rich Beeby

See here for a match highlights video

Match Gallery Pictures courtesy of Mal Swinden

Scunthorpe United 1 Rushden and Diamonds 0

 

Rushden and Diamonds succumbed to a late defeat as an injury time strike by Peter Beagrie thwarted their hopes of a deserved goalless draw.Diamonds had stuck to their task doggedly before the late strike in windswept conditions at Glanford Park.

Rushden made three changes to their line-up as Lee Worgan returned in goal due to the enforced departure of Scott Shearer whilst Northern Ireland International centre back Mark Williams forced John Dempster onto the bench.The other change came in midfield where Alex Hay returned on the right wing in place of the flu stricken David Bell.Scunthorpe also made three changes to the starting line-up that lost 2-1 at Swansea on the previous weekend as Andy Crosby, Peter Beagrie and Andy Keogh all started.Matt Sparrow and Cleveland Taylor both missed out due to suspensions.

Diamonds started the game desperate to continue their recent three game unbeaten spell which represents their best unbeaten run of the season, however Scunthorpe were also keen to claim all the points after a recent dip in form.

The Iron made a bright start in the midst of a heavy hail storm and saw Beagrie make way down the left wing before crossing towards Steve Torpey, however Wogan did well to cut out the cross, after three minutes.Seven minutes later as Scunthorpe enjoyed the better of the chances a near post clearance from a corner allowed Beagrie to cross his shot which curled inches wide of Worgan’s far left post.

Scunthorpe were forced to make a change after 19 minutes when Andy Butler needed to be stretchered off the pitch to be replaced by Cliff Byrne.

With chances few and far between the hosts carved out the next chance on 22 minutes when Richard Kell’s layoff to Beagrie allowed the veteran to cross towards Paul Hayes who headed narrowly over the cross bar from 6 yards.

Stuart Gray saw his shot bobble into the hands of the keeper before the Diamonds saw Billy Sharp’s dangerous cross from the right find Drew Broughton whose shot was deflected over the bar for a corner on 28 minutes.

Worgan had to be sharp to cut out Beagrie’s through ball towards the in rushing Lee Ridley on 38 minutes before another stoppage due to injury to Beagrie after a foul by Broughton.

As the dull first half came to an end Andy Crosby worked his way into the book after a late challenge on Billy Sharp, deep into stoppage time.

Crosby paid the price for some brave defending to deny livewire Sharp after Hay had played a brilliant ball through to the Sheffield United loanee, early into the second half, that had left Crosby as the only trailing Iron defender.At the opposite end Kell blasted over the bar from the centre, 25 yards from goal.

Ian Baraclough fired inches wide of Worgan’s left hand post after Torpey played the ball across the box, after 56 minutes.Three minutes later Andy Keogh shot softly from the edges of the box to give Worgan an easy save.

The Iron made a change on 61 minutes as Keogh came off for Wayne Corden, much to the distaste of some of the home fans who disagreed with the decision.

The Iron came close to breaking the deadlock on 69 minutes as Beagrie found Hayes whose shot appeared to strike the hand of a Diamonds player, however play continued and Baraclough was unlucky to see his fierce drive through a crowded box go inches wide of the Diamonds left post.

Andy Burgess then came off for Rushden to be replaced on the left wing by Adrian Littlejohn as Barry Hunter looked for something different in his approach with Diamonds still finding it tough to carve out any real opportunities whilst doggedly sticking to their task.

Rob Gier was lucky to only receive a yellow card after upending Kell on the edges of the box after 75 minutes after a surging break away from a Diamonds corner by the Iron, however Beagrie’s resultant free-kick didn’t even break the Diamonds defensive wall.

Paul Hayes was replaced by Michael Rankine in the last change by the hosts after 80 minutes before Lee Ridley twice fired close range, angled shots at Worgan in the Diamonds goal.

The Iron pressed forward late on with a flurry of corners from which Beagrie’s deep left wing corner found the head of Crosby who saw Worgan superbly save low to his left, with just three minutes of normal time remaining.

As it looked like Diamonds would clinch a deserved point they had their merits took away from them.Littlejohn conceded a free-kick just a couple of yards from the edge of the box, to the left of centre which Beagrie dispatched into the top left hand corner, a minute into the three minutes of stoppage time.

With that late blow there was little time for a Diamonds comeback however Drewe Broughton was booked for an innocuous challenge to compound a dismal end to an often dull game.

TEAMS:

Scunthorpe United:

Musselwhite, Crosby, Hayes (Rankine 80), Torpey, Baraclough, Ridley, Beagrie, Butler (Byrne 19), Kell, Keogh (Corden 61), Angus.Subs not used: Evans,Williams, Rankine.

Rushden and Diamonds:

Worgan, Connelly, Hawkins, Gier, Hay, Gray, Sharp, Burgess (Littlejohn 69), McCafferty, Williams.Subs not used: Dempster, Dove, Kelly, Chalmers-Stevens.

Referee: Mr R J Olivier

Goals: Beagrie 90+1

Bookings: Crosby 45, Gier 75

 

Attendance: 4932 (142 away)

Diamonds Man of the Match: Stuart Gray (dogged midfield performance.)

By Rich Beeby

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