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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