Rushden and Diamonds 1 Northampton Town 3

 

 

Two late goals handed Northampton a fortunate victory in the Northamptonshire local derby.

 

Ryan Gilligan opened the scoring for Northampton before Dave Savage equalised. Rob Gier’s own goal put The Cobblers back in front before Scott McGleish wrapped things up late on.

 

Diamonds kept the same squad that took a point at Notts County on Saturday while Northampton made three changes from the team that went down 2 – 1 at home to Cheltenham. Chris Doig came in to the centre of defence to replace the injured Sean Dyche. David Rowson and Ryan Gilligan also came into the side replacing Josh Low and Petr Mikolanda.

 

Diamonds won an early free kick which Drewe Broughton failed to get a head on Marcus Kelly’s cross while on 6 minutes Ashley Nicholls blazed over from 12 yards.

 

The visitors had a lucky break a minute later when they took the lead. Jamie Young produced a miraculous save to somehow keep out Gavin Johnson’s long range shot after it had taken a huge deflection off Scott McGleish. However, McGleish reacted speedily to pass to the unmarked Ryan Gilligan who scored from close range.

 

Broughton hit a shot over the bar before Eoin Jess missed the target following David Hunt’s long throw.

 

Diamonds almost drew level on 22 minutes. Phil Gulliver headed Marcus Kelly’s free kick goalward’s and Magnus Okuonghae somehow scooped the ball over the bar from 2 yards.

 

Ian Taylor then shot wide before Lee Harper superbly tipped over Broughton’s bullet header following Kelly’s left wing corner.

 

The Cobblers should have extended their lead on 38 minutes when McGleish ran onto Ian Taylor’s fine pass but with just Young to beat, McGleish shot weakly allowing the Rushden ‘keeper to save easily.

 

At the other end, Ashley Nicholls found Dave Savage in space 25 yards out and the Irishman’s attempted chip almost caught out Harper under his crossbar.

 

There was plenty of fire and passion at the start of the second half. Diamonds fans had their hearts in their mouths on 48 minutes when McGleish charged down Young’s attempted clearance but the ball rebounded into touch.

 

Back came Diamonds when good work from Kelly on the left resulted in Grainger getting his head to the ball but Harper comfortably saved.

 

Kelly produced Diamonds best move of the game so far when he latched onto Savage’s through pass, jinxed inside before firing just wide of the right hand post.

 

A slick passing move by Northampton almost produced dividends when Ian Taylor teed up McGleish but the pace of the pass was just too much for the striker.

 

The game to life again when Diamonds equalised on 62 minutes. Savage ran onto Chris O’Grady’s flick and then coolly slotted home past the advancing Harper.

 

Peter Hawkins headed wide from Kelly’s cross before the diminutive little winger did everything but score after a fantastic run along the byline.

 

Just as Diamonds confidence grew, they received a hammer blow when the visitors regained the lead on 79 minutes. Hunt’s free kick was aimed forward and Rob Gier, under pressure from McGleish, looped a backward header past the despairing Young and into his own net.

 

Worst was to follow on 82 minutes when Northampton secured the points. Hunt’s free kick was met by Ian Taylor but Young fumbled the ball on the line allowing McGleish to slide in and score.

 

So a disappointing result for Diamonds but they showed enough resolve and endeavour tonight to show that they have character to bounce back.

 

TEAMS:

 

Rushden and Diamonds:

 

Young, Gulliver, Hawkins, Gier, Savage, Broughton (Jason Taylor 88) , Nicholls (McCafferty 70), O’Grady, Kelly, Okounghae, Grainger (Pearson 81).  Subs not used: Woodman, Dempster.

 

Northampton Town:

 

Harper, Crowe, Chambers, Doig, Ian Taylor, McGleish, Jess (Bojic 84), Hunt, Rowson (Low 74), Gavin Johnson, Gilligan (Brett Johnson 89). Subs Not Used: Bunn, Galbraith

 

Referee: Mr Uriah Rennie

 

Goal: Gilligan 7, Savage 62, Gier 79 (og), McGleish 82

 

Bookings: Doig 31 (Foul), Chambers 33 (Foul), Gilligan 45 (Dissent), Kelly 82, McCafferty 87 (Foul)

 

Attendance: 5,211 (Away 2,348)

 

Diamonds Man of the Match: Marcus Kelly

 

Match Report by Chris Barritt.

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