Notts County 0 Rushden & Diamonds 0


Rushden and Diamonds and Notts County played out a fairly drab goalless draw at Meadow Lane, but it was the visitors who were left unhappiest as they were denied a late penalty.

Rushden and Diamonds Manager Barry Hunter made two changes to the line-up from the side that triumphed 3v2 against Stockport County.Rob Gier returned from injury at right back and Daniel Grainger started on the right of the midfield, leaving John Dempster and Greg Pearson on the bench alongside the returning Neil McCafferty.

Diamonds started brightly and saw Phil Gulliver head Marcus Kelly’s left-wing corner narrowly over the crossbar inside the first two minutes.Then came blasts handsomely over the bar for both sides by Lewis McMahon for Notts and Gulliver for Diamonds.

Diamonds were fortunate to see Gavin Gordon fail to connect with a telling left wing cross from Jake Sheridan at the far post, on 6 minutes as the hosts started to exert some early pressure.Five minutes later Kelvin Wilson headed at Jamie Young from Rob Ullathorne’s corner.

Gordon was again to blame for the hosts not taking the lead on 17 minutes when he glanced a header narrowly wide of Young’s far right post, following David Pipe’s brilliant run and cross from the right.

Despite the hosts having the better of the chances Diamonds weren’t out of the game and a hashed clearance from Wilson fell invitingly for Broughton who took advantage but his shot was saved by Pilkington, on 22 minutes, before Gier notched wide.

Diamonds began to regain some superiority in the game and saw Gier’s long punt forward fall for Ashley Nicholls in an advanced position who could only blast over the bar, after 32 minutes.

Glynn Hurst headed across goal on 33 minutes but little was seen by way of chances for either side after that before the half time whistle.

County saw Captain Mike Edwards force the first chance of the second half as his drive went inches wide of Young’s right post in the opening minutes.

Diamonds were forced into making their first change of the afternoon when Neil McCafferty replaced Dave Savage who limped off, after 50 minutes.Three minutes later Tyrone Berry replaced Gordon for County.The numerous changes continued as Hurst was replaced by Tyrone Berry.

Substitute McGoldrick raced through the Diamonds half before unleashing a shot that Young was more than equal to on 63 minutes.Two minutes later Broughton was yellow carded for persistent fouling.

Daniel Grainger was replaced by Greg Pearson on 66 minutes as Diamonds looked to freshen things up, however four minutes later they could have been behind when only a Young block with his foot thwarted a good purge on goal from the lively McGoldrick, with Diamonds defence torn open.

Matthew Gill was lucky not to be booked when he pushed Kelly after a challenge and instead just received a talking to from the referee.Moments after that incident the Diamonds saw Kelly supply Nicholls who blasted towards goal, but without avail in breaking the deadlock.

McGoldrick was able to slice through the challenge of Okuonghae and Gulliver before shooting, but his shot went narrowly wide of Young’s right post, after 75 minutes.

The Magpies made their final change of the afternoon after 79 minutes as Matthew Gill was replaced by Stacy Long.The Diamonds made their final change two minutes later as Broughton came off for Jason Taylor.

As the game began to draw to a close Brian O’Callaghan shot straight at Young from 20 yards for the hosts, and Taylor headed narrowly over the crossbar from a corner, for Diamonds.

With four minutes of added time indicated Diamonds were fortunate not to concede a penalty when the referee adjudged Hawkins not to have handballed a County cross and instead indicated a corner, from which Ullathorne’s ball in caused little danger.

Having just denied Notts a penalty the Diamonds were denied an even clearer one when O’Grady was upended by Ullathorne deep into injury time, for what looked a definite spot kick to everyone but the referee.

In the end the deadlock could not be broken but the Diamonds will be disappointed that they weren’t able to bag all three points late on, however this is a hugely valuable point against opposition that have had a strong start to the season.


Notts County:
Pilkington, Pipe, Edwards, O’Callaghan, Gill (Long 79), Gordon (McGoldrick 53), Hurst (Berry 61), Ullathorne, Wilson, McMahon, Sheridan.Subs not used: Marshall, Martin.

Rushden and Diamonds:

Young, Gulliver, Hawkins, Gier, Savage (McCafferty 50), Broughton (Taylor 81), Nicholls, O’Grady, Okounghae, Grainger (Pearson 66).Subs not used: Woodman, Dempster.

Referee: Mr Carl Boyeson

Booking: Broughton 65 (persistent fouling)

Attendance: 5145 (506 away)

Diamonds Man of the Match: Phil Gulliver

Match Report by Rich Beeby.


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