Rushden & Diamonds 0 Bury 2

 

 

Diamonds slumped to a disappointing defeat against fellow strugglers Bury.

 

A mistake from Jamie Young allowed Dwayne Mattis to open the scoring before Simon Whaley smacked in a free-kick to clinch the points.

 

Diamonds manager Barry Hunter made one change from the side which went down narrowly at Rochdale. Greg Pearson was preferred to Ashley Nicholls on the right side of midfield.

 

Bury also made one change to their starting line-up with Jon Newby coming off the bench to join the attack in place of John Hardiker.

 

Diamonds enjoyed the first attack and won an early free-kick on the right. The ball eventually came back to Dave Savage on the edge of the penalty area and the midfielder struck a sweet volley which went inches wide.

 

Jamie Young had to be careful on 9 minutes when he got down to smother David Flitcroft’s tapped free-kick.

 

The game then stagnated with neither side taking the initiative. Despite plenty of pace being on show, too often the end product was disappointing.

 

During a rare scoring opportunity, Drewe Broughton shot wide from long range while on 26 minutes, Young then failed to catch Tom Kennedy’s deep cross but fortunately Peter Hawkins was on hand to clear the danger.

 

Errors were creeping into the game as the opening period became more and more disjointed. 

 

Young did well to divert Paul Scott’s downward header following a corner on 32 minutes while Flitcroft tried a long range shot which flew wide.

 

Two minutes from the interval, Hawkins tried his luck only to see David Challinor head the ball away for a corner while Chris O’Grady was wide with a curler.

 

Half-time         R & D  0 – 0 Bury

 

The second half started with a Magnus Okuonghae header which tested Neil Edwards but it was the visitors who then missed two good chances in the space of four minutes. On 49 minutes, Kennedy’s cross was headed back across goal by Mattis but Newby somehow scuffed his shot in front of a gaping goal. Then Allan Smart raced onto a through ball but shot weakly at the advancing Young.

 

Good work at the other end from Rob Gier set up Pearson in space but he shot straight at Edwards.

 

The visitors went ahead after 57 minutes following a mistake by Young. Whaley’s right wing cross looked harmless enough but Young failed to hang on to the ball allowing Mattis to fire home.

 

Diamonds made a double substitution a minute later with Daniel Grainger and Jason Taylor replacing Pearson and Broughton. Bury then lost the services of veteran striker Smart who was stretchered off after a late challenge.

 

On 68 minutes, Bury went further ahead. Hawkins looked to have fouled Newby inside the penalty area but referee Dorr gave the decision outside the box. Up stepped Whaley to rifle the free-kick into the roof of the net.

 

Diamonds tried to salvage something from the game. O’Grady shot straight at Edwards while Gier flashed an 81st minute header wide from Marcus Kelly’s corner.

 

So much to think about fro manager Barry Hunter before the trip to promotion favourites Wycombe in 8 days time.

 

Teams:

 

Rushden & Diamonds: Jamie Young, Phil Gulliver, Peter Hawkins, Rob Gier, Dave Savage (c), Greg Pearson (Daniel Grainger 58), Drewe Broughton (Jason Taylor 58), Neil McCafferty, Chris O’Grady, Marcus Kelly, Magnus Okuonghae (John Dempster 84).

Subs Not Used: Andy Woodman, Ashley Nicholls.

 

Bury: Neil Edwards, Tom Kennedy, David Challinor (c), Colin Woodthorpe, David Flitcroft, Dwayne Mattis, Allan Smart (Matthew Tipton 63), Paul Scott, Simon Whalley, David Buchanan, Jon Newby ( Brian Barry-Murphy 84).

Subs Not Used: Craig Dootson, John Hardiker, Nicky Adams,

 

Referee: Mr S Dorr

 

Goals: Mattis 57, Whaley 68

 

Bookings: Woodthorpe 33 (Foul) Hawkins 66 (Foul) Mattis 80 (Foul)

 

Attendance: 2,639 (Away 138)

 

Report by Chris Barritt

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