Rushden & Diamonds 0 Peterborough United 2

 

Rushden and Diamonds slumped to a second consecutive League Two defeat as Peterborough bagged the derby day honours at Nene Park, in a game where the hosts finished with just nine men on the field.

Diamonds were well in control for much of the first half but shot themselves in the foot when both Peter Hawkins and Drewe Broughton received their marching orders after the break, making their task impossible after falling further behind.

Diamonds were without Rob Gier, Daniel Chillingworth, Graham Allen, David Bell and Dave Savage as the mini injury crisis continued, however they were bolstered by the return of Drewe Broughton on the bench.Greg Pearson continued in a right midfield position whilst Ashley Nicholls moved into the centre due to Bell’s absence, his void at right-back was filled by John Dempster.

Peterborough were forced to make two changes to the side that drew 1v1 against Stockport in the previous game.David Farrell missed out with a hamstring strain and was replaced by Dean Holden whilst striker James Quinn was on international duty allowing for Trevor Benjamin to start against one of his old clubs.

Diamonds made a bright start to the game and a neat move saw Neil McCafferty find Pearson who headed on for Chris O’Grady to find Jason Taylor who shot weakly straight at keeper Mark Tyler with the goal at his mercy, on 3 minutes.O’Grady then blasted over the bar from a Marcus Kelly free-kick.

Diamonds continued to look dangerous and Mark Arber’s back-header was capitalised on by Taylor only for his header to stray narrowly wide of the keeper’s left-hand post.

Kelly blasted narrowly wide after good work from O’Grady on 19 minutes, however a minute later Diamonds fell behind, all be it against the run of play.Paul Carden crossed from the right into a frantic Diamonds defence and Arber was able to head it on to Richard Logan who crashed home from six yards.

After the goal the game became scrappy, however Diamonds still had the better openings.O’Grady headed over the bar at the far post from Kelly’s right wing, left-footed corner on 37 minutes before Peter Hawkins made his way into the referee’s notebook along with Sagi Burton on 39 minutes.

In injury time both sides had opportunities to bag a goal, the Diamonds seeing Dempster launch a long free-kick into the box which Tyler had to punch away whilst Young had to be alert to get a hand to Carden’s shot after Benjamin had broke off for the Posh.

Diamonds made a change at the start of the second half as Drewe Broughton replaced Taylor.

Diamonds started brightly again and saw a good run by Kelly end in him squaring the ball across to McCafferty who shot wide of the keeper’s left post, on 49 minutes.A minute later Kelly was yellow carded for a foul.

Young had to save quickly to avoid the incoming danger of Benjamin and Adam Newton when Logan crossed from the left, on 52 minutes.

Drewe Broughton was booked for a foul on Carden on 53 minutes, and Okuonghae joined him in the book two minutes later after halting the run of Benjamin.

The flurry of bookings continued, and Diamonds were soon reduced to ten men as Hawkins rash challenge on Newton earned him a second booking and his marching orders, on 58 minutes.Diamonds boss Barry Hunter was then banished to the stands by the referee.

Against ten men Peterborough began to get on top for the first time in the game and could have doubled their lead when Newton outstripped Okuonghae for pace before squaring the ball across the box from the right, however Benjamin failed to connect as the ball strayed wide, with Young stranded, after 64 minutes.

Diamonds tried to respond and Nicholls struck just over the bar from 30 yards on 70 minutes before Daniel Grainger replaced Pearson and Burton, already on a final warning from the referee, was replaced by Chris Plummer for the Posh.

McCafferty wasted a free-kick from 10 yards outside the box and to the left, as he blasted straight at the keeper, on 73 minutes and four minutes later Diamonds task became almost impossible.

Peter Gain, a summer signing from Lincoln, was set away by Logan down the right wing where he found acres of space before tucking home at an angle at Young’s near post, to double the visitors lead.Gain was then booked for his celebration.

Kennedy saw his shot smartly saved by Young on 81 minutes before Diamonds were reduced to nine men when substitute Broughton fouled Arber and received a second yellow card, after 82 minutes.

With the game coming to a close Ryan Semple replaced Logan and Danny Crow came on for Newton as Posh made their final changes, after 86 minutes.

Late on Diamonds saw Gulliver head into the hands of the keeper from a Kelly corner, however Diamonds could do little to brighten a miserable second half.

The defeat will have disappointed boss Barry Hunter, however the two red cards and plethora of bookings will cause greater concern as suspensions threaten to add to the selection problems for his injury plagued side.Furthermore the loss of the two most experience heads in the squad will also be a disappointment as Diamonds prepare for their next test, away at Brian Talbot’s Oxford United.

TEAMS:

 

Rushden and Diamonds:

Young, Gulliver, Hawkins, Pearson (Grainger 71) Dempster, Nicholls, McCafferty, O’Grady, Taylor (Broughton 46) Kelly, Okuonghae.Subs not used: Woodman, Wark, Tomlin.

Peterborough United:

Tyler, Holden, Kennedy, Carden, Burton (Plummer 71), Arber, Gain, Benjamin, Newton (Crow 86), Ledger, Logan (Semple 86).Subs not used: Harrison, Day.

Referee: Mr A Hall

Goals: Logan 20, Gain 77

Bookings: Hawkins 39, Burton 39 (dissent), Kelly 50 (foul), Broughton 53 (foul), Okuonghae 55, Gain 77.

Sending off: Hawkins (second bookable offence) 58, Broughton (second bookable offence) 82

Attendance: 4403 (1609 away)

Diamonds Man of the Match: Ashley Nicholls.

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