Torquay United 2 Rushden & Diamonds 1

Despite a brave second – half fight back, Diamonds slipped into the bottom two for the first time this season after suffering their third consecutive defeat over the holiday period.

Relegation rivals Torquay overtook Diamonds as they won their first home game at Plainmoor since the end of September.

The visitors made the worst possible start when Jo Kuffour gave the home side an early lead. Phil Gulliver had a goal disallowed before Keith Hill headed home The Gulls second goal. Chris O’Grady gave Diamonds hope but it wasn’t to be.

Barry Hunter made three changes to the side that lost at home to Cheltenham on Wednesday. David Bell and Marcus Kelly were both ruled out through injury so Neil McCafferty and Greg Pearson were drafted in. O’Grady was preferred to Alun Armstrong in attack.

Torquay were looking to extend their unbeaten record to 7 matches and they kept the same sixteen that drew with Wycombe Wanderers on Boxing Day.

Diamonds made a disappointing start conceding a goal after just 100 seconds. Kuffour played a one two with Hill before turning and firing home from 20 yards as Diamonds defence backed off.

Torquay ‘keeper Andy Marriott was in fine form and he made a superb save to deny Dave Savage before Jamie Young pulled off a wonderful point blank stop from Morike Sako’s volley.

On 26 minutes, Diamonds were unlucky to have a goal disallowed. Gulliver’s header from a corner seemed to have given Diamonds a much needed equalizer but referee Taylor had other ideas and he ruled that O’Grady was guilty of pushing despite the loanee being pulled at the same time.

That decision proved to be costly as Torquay extended their lead seven minutes later. Kuffour got round Peter Hawkins on the left and when the cross came in hill scored with a fine diving header.

Diamonds now had a mountain to climb but to their credit they never gave up.

In the second half, Savage struck the bar with a volley before Diamonds gave themselves hope on 64 minutes with a superb goal. O’Grady, playing his last game before returning to Leicester City, chested down McCafferty’s cross before beating Marriott with a brilliant angled volley off the far post.

A minute later, O’Grady tried the same again but only Pearson will know how he failed to get on the end of the cross which went across the face of the goal.

The home side hardly got out of their own half as Diamonds exerted more and more pressure. Lee Tomlin and Alun Armstrong were thrown on as Diamonds reverted to a four man attack but they just couldn’t get that important equalizer.

So it’s three defeats for Diamonds over the holiday period and Barry Hunter will be desperate to get three points on Monday when the visitors to Nene Park will be Bristol Rovers.


Torquay United: Marriott, Lawless (Sharp 64), Lockwood, Taylor, Lloyd, Phillips, Sako (Hockley 82), Garner, Kuffour, Bedeau (Robinson 46). Hill

Subs Not Used: Connell, Woods

Rushden & Diamonds: Jamie Young, Phil Gulliver, Peter Hawkins, Rob Gier Andy Burgess, Greg Pearson (Lee Tomlin 72), Neil McCafferty (Alun Armstrong 85), Dave Savage, Gary Mills, Drewe Broughton, Chris O’Grady.

Subs Not Used: Graham Allen, Magnus Okuonghae, Daniel Grainger

Booked: N/A

Referee: Mr P Taylor

Attendance: 2,668

Diamonds MOM: Chris O’Grady – Great goal to end his loan spell


Rushden & Diamonds 0 Cheltenham Town 1



Rushden went down to a fourth successive home defeat after Grant McCann’s second half free-kick gave Cheltenham victory.


Diamonds were hoping to improve on their recent record of four defeats in five games and also bounce back from their 5 – 1 defeat at Leyton Orient on Boxing Day.


With John Dempster suspended, Andy Burgess started at left – back; Rob Gier switched to central defence and Peter Hawkins played on the right. Alun Armstrong was preferred to Chris O’Grady in attack. 


Cheltenham were enjoying an impressive run having lost just one of their last eleven games. They made just one change from the side that beat Chester City 1 – 0. Jamie Victory had recovered from injury and returned at left-back.


On a bitterly cold night, a minute’s silence was impeccably observed by both sets of fans in memory of Dave Joyce who sadly passed away earlier this month.


Drewe Broughton won an early free-kick in a good position after he was fouled by Gavin Caines. Unfortunately, Marcus Kelly hit the ball into the crowd.


On 15 minutes McCann saw his shot held at the second attempt by Jamie Young while 4 minutes later the same player struck a long range effort over the bar.


Diamonds had to wait until the 26th minute to enjoy their first shot on target although Dave Savage’s effort from the edge of the area was weak and failed to trouble Shane Higgs.


On the half-hour Brian Wilson lifted a shot over the crossbar before Diamonds were forced to make a change five minutes later. O’Grady replaced Armstrong in attack after the ex-Middlesbrough man had to leave the field with an eye injury.


The home side were fortunate not to go behind shortly after when Burgess’ attempted clearance rebounded off John Melligan leaving Young to produce a fine point blank stop.


Young got down well to deny John Finnigan while the Diamonds ‘keeper made an even better stop on 41 minutes when he tipped over Melligan’s short range blast.


O’Grady then let fly from fully 25 yards and while his shot beat Higgs it whistled narrowly past the right hand post.


On the stroke of half-time there was controversy when Cheltenham had a goal disallowed. Wilson’s cross looked as though it evaded everybody before landing up in the right hand corner of the net. However, after the referee had initially awarded the visitors a goal it was disallowed, presumably for offside, after Mr Lewis consulted the referee’s assistant. Cheltenham players were incensed by the decision and manager John Ward had to pull some of them away as they crowded round the officials at the interval.


Half – Time   Rushden & Diamonds 0 – 0 Cheltenham Town


The second half was no more than three minutes old when the visitors took the lead. McCann took a free-kick and gave Young no chance with an absolute beauty from 25 yards.


Young, who was having an inspired game, got Hawkins out of trouble after Kayode Odejayi’s shot deflected off the Diamonds defender before Gary Mills stubbed a loose ball well wide.


Just after the hour Cheltenham missed a glorious chance to extend their lead when Odejayi put Steve Guinan clean through but Young spotted the danger well and saved at the striker’s feet.


As Diamonds started to make inroads into the Cheltenham defence, Burgess hit a fine shot just wide before Savage tested Higgs from the edge of the area.


On 71 minutes Young produced a miraculous save to give Diamonds continued hope. Melligan’s corner was headed back across goal by Shane Duff and Young somehow took the ball of Guinan’s head as the striker shaped to head into a gaping net.


Three minutes later Higgs produced a marvellous save diving to his left to turn Savage’s blast round the post.


Lee Tomlin was sent on and immediately gave Diamonds hope. McCann made two excellent blocks to deny the youngster and then there were loud appeals for a penalty when a Cheltenham defender appeared to handle the ball on the line.


But it was the visitors who finished in the ascendancy. Substitute Damian Spencer shrugged off Hawkins and then forced Young into a fine block. Seconds later Steven Gillespie got the better of Gier but Young was equal to the challenge.


So another home defeat for Diamonds and another injury problem. David Bell was the victim of a late horror tackle which has left him with a nasty gash above the ankle and the prospect of several weeks out of the game.





Rushden & Diamonds: – Jamie Young, Phil Gulliver, Peter Hawkins, Gary Mills (Lee Tomlin 77), Rob Gier, Dave Savage (c), Drewe Broughton (Greg Pearson 87), David Bell, Andy Burgess, Alun Armstrong (Chris O’Grady 35), Marcus Kelly,


Subs Not Used: Neil McCafferty, Magnus Okuonghae,


Cheltenham Town: – Shane Higgs, Jeremy Gill, Jamie Victory (David Bird 83), Shane Duff, Gavin Caines, Brian Wilson, John Finnigan (c), Stephen Guinan (Damian Spencer 77), Grant McCann, Kayode Odejayi (Steven Gillespie 63), John Melligan  


Subs Not Used:  Scott Brown, Michael Townsend,


Booked:  Savage 15 (Foul), Hawkins 26 (Foul), McCann 35 (Persistent Fouling), Gier 61 (Foul), Broughton 85 (Foul)


Sent off:


Referee: Mr R Lewis


Attendance: 2,244 (Away 353)


Diamonds Man of the Match:  Jamie Young


By Chris Barritt 

Leyton Orient 5 Rushden & Diamonds 1



Diamonds slumped to their heaviest away defeat of the season after Orient came from behind to record an emphatic victory at Brisbane Road.


Drewe Broughton put Diamonds ahead midway through the first half but John Mackie put the home side level two minutes later. Two quick goals from Lee Steele gave Orient breathing space before Jabo Ibehre put the game beyond Diamonds reach. Craig Easton finished things off late on. Diamonds also had John Dempster harshly sent off for alleged violent conduct.


Barry Hunter named the same starting line-up from the team that beat Chester City 9 days earlier. Rob Gier had recovered from injury to take his place at right back while fit again Alun Armstrong was named amongst the substitutes.


High flying Leyton Orient had lost their last two home games and were without winger Shane Tudor following his dismissal at Rochdale.


Orient went close as early as the 9th minute. Joe Keith latched onto Justin Miller’s long throw before glancing the post with a fine effort.


Slightly against the run of play Diamonds went ahead on 25 minutes. Gary Mills threaded a pass through to Broughton who cleverly went on before beating Glyn Garner with a low shot.


The visitors lead was short lived. It lasted two minutes in fact. Steele flicked on Keith’s cross and captain John Mackie smashed the ball home from close range.


Orient took the lead for the first time two minutes later when Easton’s chip reached Steele in the area and the striker brought the ball under control before drilling his shot into the left hand corner of the net.


Matters got worse for Rushden 9 minutes from the interval when they conceded a third goal. Mackie challenged Jamie Young to Matt Lockwood’s corner and when the ball ran loose Steele gleefully drilled the ball home.


Half – Time                  Leyton Orient 3 – 1 Rushden & Diamonds


Diamonds made a change at the interval with Neil McCafferty replacing captain Dave Savage and they enjoyed a good spell for 20 minutes or so. Chris O’Grady went close raced onto substitute Armstrong’s through ball but Garner saved well at the near post.


The home side should have extended their lead shortly after but Gary Alexander somehow blasted over from Lockwood’s lay back.


However, any chance of a comeback from Diamonds was effectively over when Dempster was shown the red card by referee Olivier for violent conduct on 70 minutes. Goalkeeper Garner collected a cross in the box and Dempster crashed into him leaving Olivier to brandish the red card.


Orient made it 4 – 1 four minutes later when Daryl McMahon skipped past several challenges before finding Ibehre who easily headed home.


Three minutes from time Diamonds misery was complete when Easton picked the ball up 35 yards out and then deceived Young with an audacious lob to give Orient their nap hand.


This was a disappointing setback for Diamonds after their impressive win at Chester but they only have 48 hours to wait to make amends with the visit of Cheltenham to Nene Park.




Leyton Orient: Garner, Miller, Lockwood, Mackie, Zakuani, Carlisle (McMahon 70), Simpson, Easton, Keith (Barnard 77), Alexander (Ibehre 70), Steele


Subs Not Used: Abbey, Saah


Rushden & Diamonds: Jamie Young, Phil Gulliver, Peter Hawkins, Gary Mills, Rob Gier, Dave Savage (Neil McCafferty 45), Drewe Broughton (Alun Armstrong 55), David Bell (Lee Tomlin 61), John Dempster, Chris O’Grady, Marcus Kelly


Subs Not Used: Greg Pearson, Andy Burgess


Booked: Simpson 90 (Unsporting Behaviour)


Sent Off: Dempster 70 (Violent Conduct)


Referee: Mr R Olivier


Attendance: 4,558

Chester City 1 Rushden & Diamonds 2



Diamonds boss Barry Hunter dedicated this vital victory to club secretary David Joyce who sadly died on Friday after a short illness.


And it was a victory that Diamonds fully deserved after turning in a spirited and gutsy performance against one of League Two’s high fliers.


Drewe Broughton opened the scoring for Rushden after they were awarded their first penalty of the season while Ben Davies equalized from the spot before half-time. However, a bizarre own goal from Phil Bolland gave Diamonds their first away victory since August.


Hunter made three changes to the side that went down to Mansfield last weekend. Andy Burgess and Neil McCafferty were relegated to the bench while Alun Armstrong failed to make the squad. Peter Hawkins recovered from flu and returned to left back; Marcus Kelly started at left midfield while Broughton returned to the attack.


Chester had all kinds of injury and suspension problems prior to the game and they created a surprise in goal with the emergency seven day loan of John Ruddy who was recalled by Everton last week following a brief stint at Nene Park. Former Diamond Craig Dove started in midfield.


Before the game a minutes silence was respectfully reserved in memory of Dave Joyce who had been the Rushden & Diamonds club secretary since the clubs inception.


After a period of early Rushden pressure, the home side came close to scoring with their first real attack of the game on 7 minutes. Dove latched onto a Davies pass and then saw a 20-yards curler palmed away by Jamie Young but only into the path of Davies who forced the Diamonds ‘keeper to turn the midfielders shot onto the post.


Marcus Richardson shot woefully wide before the visitors were awarded a penalty on 10 minutes. Gary Mills played the ball into the penalty area and Bolland was correctly adjudged to have grabbed Broughton from behind. Broughton picked himself up and sent Ruddy the wrong way from the spot.


Almost immediately, the impressive Davies put Richardson clean through but he was stopped in his tracks by a brilliant saving tackle by Rob Gier. David Bell then saw his free-kick comfortably gathered by Ruddy.


Diamonds were forced into making a substitution on 24 minutes when Gier was unable to continue after being clattered into by Davies off the field. Burgess came on into the left-back position with Hawkins switching to the other flank.


Unfortunately for Diamonds they lost their lead 8 minutes later through a questionable penalty decision. Phil Gulliver was adjudged to have pushed Richardson in the area and Davies sent Young the wrong way.


The home side upped the tempo and started to put the Diamonds defence under increasing pressure. However, the final ball often lacked conviction and sometimes actually set up a Rushden counter attack.


The only other action of the first-half came on 39 minutes when Davies tried his luck from long range but failed to trouble Young.


Half – Time      Chester City                 1 -1      Rushden & Diamonds


The second half began with Diamonds on the attack and Mills threaded a fine pass through to Chris O’Grady but rather than shoot on sight, he chose to switch from right to left foot and the danger was cleared.


However, the Diamonds increasing supremacy was rewarded with a second goal on 55 minutes. Broughton collected yet another outfield pass and skillfully set up O’Grady in space. As goalkeeper Ruddy slipped, the young striker was muscled off the ball by Bolland who then inexplicably lobbed Ruddy and into his own net. You could hear a pin drop when the ball hit the net and it seemed as though several seconds passed before the players and fans realised that Diamonds were back in front.


Richardson was proving to be a constant threat to the visitors and he forced a fantastic save from Young although his effort didn’t count due to a foul. Davies then got past Dempster on the left before trying to pick out Richardson at the far post. However, Gulliver timed his interception superbly to head the ball away for a corner.


Chester kept coming forward in search of a second equalizer but they were leaving huge gaps at the back for O’Grady and Broughton to expose. They were already linking up well and giving Bolland and Luke Dimech a torrid time. On 72 minutes Broughton possibly should have sealed the game when he displayed great skill to lose his marker before blazing his shot over the bar.


Young had to get down sharpish to make a diving save to thwart Davies’ free kick before dealing easily with substitute Tom Curle’s attempted lob.



It was all Chester in the final few minutes but the Diamonds defence stood firm throughout to secure not only a much needed victory but also to provide a fitting end to what has been a very sad time at the club.




Chester City: John Ruddy, Marcus Richardson, Craig Dove (Tom Curle 68), Ben Davies, Stewart Drummond, Phil Bolland, Abdul El – Kholti, Paul Rutherford, Stephen Vaughan, Luke Dimech, Tom Curtis ( Captain)


Subs Not Used: Justin Walker, Ryan Brookfield, Michael Branch, Gregg Blundell


Rushden & Diamonds: Jamie Young, Phil Gulliver, Peter Hawkins, Gary Mills, Rob Gier (Andy Burgess 24), Dave Savage, Drewe Broughton (Neil McCafferty 90), David Bell (Greg Pearson 83), John Dempster, Chris O’Grady, Marcus Kelly


Subs Not Used: Magnus Okuonghae, Lee Tomlin


Booked: Dempster 45 (Dissent), Dimech 59 (Foul), Curtis 80 (Foul)


Referee: Mr A Penn


Attendance: 2,265


Diamonds joint MOM:

Drewe Broughton – easily his best game of the season and too difficult for the Chester defenders to handle


John Dempster – dominant at the back and won every header going!


Report by Chris Barritt            

Rushden & Diamonds 1 Mansfield Town 2



Diamonds suffered a third consecutive defeat in a week as two defensive errors handed Mansfield a crucial victory at Nene Park.


Simon Brown headed Mansfield in front before Giles Coke extended the lead with a super strike. John Dempster gave Diamonds hope but it wasn’t to be.


Diamonds boss Barry Hunter promised all out attack from the start as his side tried to get back to winning ways following two successive defeats. Diamonds made two changes from the side that lost 4 – 0 at home to Carlisle United in midweek.


Fit again Rob Gier replaced flu victim Peter Hawkins at right back while Jamie Young came into goal for John Ruddy after his recall by Everton.


Mansfield manager Peter Shirtliff made two changes from the team that went down 4 – 1 at Wrexham in midweek. Stephen Dawson and Adam Birchall were relegated to the bench giving way to Adam Rundle and Simon Brown.


Within the first minute Diamonds put together their first attack when Alun Armstrong hooked Andy Burgess’ cross over the bar. Gus Uhlenbeek then tried his luck from 25 yards for the visitors but the shot curled just wide of Young’s left hand post.


A well worked Diamonds move on 9 minutes ended with David Bell’s cross coming back to Gary Mills but the midfielder’s first time effort was blocked by Chris O’Grady who was tracking back from an offside position.


Two minutes later Alex Baptiste almost conceded a own goal when he tried to intercept O’Grady’s shot but fortunately for him the ball went just over the bar. Mills then tried his luck from 30 yards before showing his frustration when his effort went high over the bar.


But on 18 minutes Mansfield took the lead with a simple goal that Diamonds defence would be disappointed to concede. Jake Buxton was given room down the right and when the cross came in Simon Brown was left totally unmarked to head home from 12 yards.


Rundle hit a first time shot which Young saved at the second attempt before the visitors missed a glorious chance to extend their lead on 33 minutes. Uhlenbeek found space down the right and looked up before sending an inch perfect cross to the unmarked Jonathan D’Laryea. However, the midfielder took his eye off the ball with the goal at his mercy and it ran to Rundle who blasted over the bar from an acute angle.


With Diamonds losing the midfield battle, they made a tactical change on 39 minutes bringing on fit again Marcus Kelly for Mills before reverting back to a 4 – 4 -2 formation. On the stroke of half – time, the visitors were forced into making a change of their own when Brown appeared to break down and had to be replaced by Allan Russell.


Diamonds went into half – time knowing that they not only had to improve in midfield but also needed to create far more chances.


Half – Time Rushden & Diamonds 0 – 1 Mansfield Town


Poor defending again almost cost Diamonds another goal on 47 minutes when Russell out muscled John Dempster in the penalty area and Rundle missed the target with a clear header.


That miss did not prove to be crucial when Mansfield went 2 up on 50 minutes. D’Laryea slipped the ball forward to Giles Coke on the edge of the penalty area and he cleverly turned Gier before tucking the ball past Young into the right hand side of the net for a fine opportunist goal.


Diamonds reverted to 3 – 5 – 2 to try and get back into the game and they almost immediately threw themselves a lifeline when they reduced the arrears on 56 minutes. Bell’s right wing corner picked out John Dempster who headed through a crowd of players for his third goal of the season.


Diamonds immediately made a double substitution throwing on Drewe Broughton and young Lee Tomlin.


From then on the action came fast and furious with both sides going all out for goals. Buxton flashed a header wide from Rundle’s corner while Bell almost capitalised on Tomlin’s excellent turn but Kevin Pressman saved well at his near post.


On 76 minutes David Savage set up Tomlin in the penalty area and his shot was superbly stopped by Pressman before Kelly smashed the rebound over the bar.


Five minutes later Russell, looking suspiciously offside, ran clear of the Diamonds defence before finding Barker in the middle but Young bravely saved at the feet of Mansfield’s leading scorer.


But time ran out for the home side and they now  face a real battle if they are not to get embroiled in another relegation battle.




Rushden & Diamonds: -  Jamie Young, Phil Gulliver, Gary Mills (Marcus Kelly 38), Rob Gier, Dave Savage (c), David Bell, Andy Burgess, John Dempster, Neil McCafferty, Chris O’Grady (Drewe Broughton 57), Alun Armstrong (Lee Tomlin 57)


Subs Not Used: Ashlee Jones, Magnus Okuonghae, 


Mansfield Town: – Kevin Pressman, Gareth Jelleyman, Rhys Day, Alex Baptiste, Gus Uhlenbeek (Stephen Dawson 79), Richard Barker (c), Jake Buxton, Giles Coke, Adam Rundle, Simon Brown (Allan Russell 44), Jonathan D’Laryea


Subs Not Used:  Jason White, Gavin Peers, Adam Birchall,


Booked: Mills 30 (Foul) Bell 63 (Unsporting Behaviour)


Sent off:


Referee:  Mr K Wright


Attendance: 2,477 (362)


Diamonds Man of the Match:  Lee Tomlin


By Chris Barritt 

Rushden & Diamonds 0 Carlisle United 4



Diamonds will wonder how they managed to lose a game so heavily after dominating for long periods.


However, mistakes cost Diamonds dear as John Ruddy gifted Derek Holmes an 18th minute opener while Karl Hawley scored his 15th goal of the season twelve minutes later thanks to a deflection.  Indecision allowed Chris Lumsdon a third on 64 minutes before Michael Bridges wrapped things up in the dying seconds.


Diamonds were looking to put behind them the disappointment of Saturday’s F A Cup defeat against Leyton Orient. John Ruddy was recalled in goal in place of Jamie Young while Chris O’Grady resumed in attack at the expense of Drewe Broughton. Marcus Kelly was ruled out with a foot injury so Gary Mills came into midfield.


Carlisle made three changes from the side that lost at home against Wycombe 10 days ago with Brendan McGill, Paul Arnison and Bridges were all recalled to the side


On a cold night, Diamonds first attack came on 7 minutes when Andy Burgess found O’Grady in space on the left and the striker easily beat Arnison but his cross was cleared away for a corner. From the resultant flag kick David Bell picked out Phil Gulliver at the far post but the header lacked power and went for a goal kick.


Neil McCafferty tried his luck from 30 yards but Kieren Westwood got down well before Bell almost found a way through with a 15th minute curler following a switch to the left flank. Moments later Burgess found Bell in space in the box but the midfielder blazed over the bar.


Completely against the run of play, Carlisle took the lead on 18 minutes. Arnison’s cross from the right looked to be covered by Ruddy but the on-loan goalkeeper inexplicably dropped the ball and Holmes tapped the ball into the empty net.


Straight from the kick-off Diamonds almost equalised. Bell’s superb shot from distance was heading for the top left hand corner until Westwood somehow read the flight and produced a fantastic save to turn the ball round the post.


Nine minutes later Bell’s corner found its way to Alun Armstrong at the far post but his well directed header was cleared off the line by Arnison.


Diamonds went further behind on the half hour and again the goal came out of the blue. Carlisle were down to ten men with Peter Murphy off the pitch receiving treatment. Karl Hawley mishit Chris Lumsdon’s free kick from the left and the ball deflected off John Dempster before looping over Ruddy and into the net.


It could have been even worse four minutes later when Bridges and Holmes combined to set up birthday boy Hawley but his clever flick went narrowly wide.


Half – Time Rushden & Diamonds 0 – 2 Carlisle United


The start of the second half produced little in the way of goalmouth action although the home side continued to play some good football. Danny Livesey made an important tackle to deny the on rushing Armstrong on 55 minutes while seven minutes later O’Grady hit another long range effort narrowly wide.


The visitors put the game beyond doubt on 64 minutes with a strange goal. Hawley challenged Ruddy for a long clearance and when the ball bounced away Rushden’s defence stood still allowing Lumsdon to move in and head the ball into a gaping net.


On 70 minutes Diamonds had penalty appeals waived away after Phil Gulliver headed Bell’s corner into the torso of Chris Billy.


Substitute Broughton was wide with a right foot shot while O’Grady failed to trouble the ‘keeper with a rising drive. Lee Tomlin almost found a way through late on but his left foot drive was turned away for a corner.


But in the dying moments Carlisle scored a fourth goal when Hawley held the ball up well on the edge of the area and laid a pass to Bridges who marked his first start for the visitors by coolly slipping the ball past Ruddy.


So a scoreline that most Diamonds will find hard to swallow and one that leaves manager Barry Hunter will plenty to think about before the visit of Mansfield on Saturday.





Rushden & Diamonds: – John Ruddy, Phil Gulliver, Peter Hawkins Gary Mills, Dave Savage (c), David Bell, Andy Burgess, John Dempster, Neil McCafferty (Drewe Broughton 62), Chris O’Grady, Alun Armstrong (Lee Tomlin 73)


Subs Not Used: Jamie Young, Greg Pearson, Magnus Okuonghae,


Carlisle United: – Kieren Westwood, Peter Murphy, Chris Billy, Danny Livesey, Kevin Gray (c), Brendan McGill, Chris Lumsdon (Adam Murray 73), Derek Holmes (Zigor Aranalde 73), Karl Hawley, Paul Arnison, Michael Bridges.


Subs Not Used:  Anthony Williams, Simon Hackney, Raphael Nade


Booked: Livesey 59 (Foul), Tomlin 90 (Foul)


Sent off:


Referee: Mr M Russell


Attendance: 2,216 (Away 329)


Diamonds Man of the Match:  Gary Mills


By Chris Barritt 

Diamonds 0 Leyton Orient 1



Substitute Lee Steele scored with his first touch to send Diamonds out of the F A Cup.


Manager Barry Hunter made three changes from the side that drew at Darlington last weekend. Goalkeeper John Ruddy and striker Chris O’Grady were unavailable so Jamie Young returned between the posts and Drewe Broughton came into the attack to partner Alun Armstrong. Rob Gier was ruled out through injury so Peter Hawkins started at right back.


Leyton Orient boasted an unbeaten record away from home in the league and they were without midfielder Craig Easton and defender Jon Mackie both through suspension.


The visitors put together the first real attack on 3 minutes Gary Alexander found Shane Tudor speeding down the right flank and when the cross came in Jabo Ibehre controlled the ball superbly on his chest but Phil Gulliver blocked the shot. From the resultant Matthew Lockwood corner Alexander headed wide.


Armstrong found space in the penalty area a minute later after Hawkins cross came back to him but the deflected shot was well saved by Glyn Garner. David Bell then hit a 20 yard effort disappointingly off target.


Daryl McMahon was next to try his luck with a speculative volley which went well wide while Lockwood struck a 25-yard shot all along the ground which Young saved at the second attempt.


The game was end to end and Diamonds came close to opening the scoring on 26 minutes. Broughton’s cross shot was parried by Garner but with Armstrong breathing down his neck, Justin Miller made an excellent block to deny the former Premiership man.


Eight minutes later Bell’s pin point cross picked out Armstrong and his header was superbly tipped over the bar by Garner. From the resultant corner Marcus Kelly got in a header which was cleared.


Two minutes from the interval, Orient missed a glorious chance to go in front. Alexander found Tudor on the right and his low cross picked out Lockwood at the far post but the defender failed to control his shot and it hit the side netting.


Half – Time Diamonds 0 – 0 Leyton Orient


Early in the second half trickery from Andy Burgess allowed Broughton the chance to flick on but Armstrong wasn’t able to get on the end of it. Bell then saw a header saved by Garner.



McMahon tried his luck from long range but only succeeded in clearing the Peter De Banke Terrace!


On the hour a four man move involving Dave Savage, Bell and Neil McCafferty gave Kelly a shooting chance which went narrowly wide. At the other end Orient seemed to have a reasonable claim for a penalty when Alexander appeared to be pushed in the box by Andy Burgess but the referee waived play on but it didn’t matter because the visitors took the lead on 66 minutes.


Joe Keith played the ball inside to Donny Barnard and when he crossed from the right Young made a fantastic point blank save to deny Alexander but the rebound fell to substitute Lee Steele who tapped home with his first touch of the game.


Despite being obviously stung, Diamonds refused to be too downcast and McCafferty tried his luck from 25 yards but was well wide. Armstrong was over the top with a shot from the edge of the penalty area while Kelly’s header was just wide following Bell’s cross.


Young then pulled off a superb save to deny Alexander who’d broken clear on the left while the same player went close again four minutes from time but Young got enough on the ball to deflect it wide.


So Diamonds are out of the F A Cup and now free to concentrate on League survival. They have two important home league games this week with the visit of Carlisle on Tuesday and Mansfield on Saturday.




Rushden & Diamonds: – Jamie Young, Phil Gulliver, Peter Hawkins (Gary Mills 87), Dave Savage (c), Drewe Broughton (Greg Pearson 66), David Bell, Andy Burgess, John Dempster, Neil McCafferty, Alun Armstrong (Lee Tomlin 81), Marcus Kelly,


Subs Not Used: Magnus Okuonghae, Ashlee Jones


Leyton Orient: – Glyn Garner, Donny Barnard, Matthew Lockwood, Michael Simpson, Gary Alexander (c), Joe Keith, Gabriel Zakuani, Justin Miller (Brian Saah 53), Shane Tudor(Wayne Carlisle 77), Daryl McMahon, Jabo Ibehre (Lee Steele 64)


Subs Not Used:  Efe Echanomi, Jason Demetriou


Booked: McCafferty 14 (Foul), Ibehre 37 (Foul), Broughton 59 ( Diving), Dempster 81 (Foul), Mills & Simpson 90 (Unsporting Behaviour)


MOM: John Dempster

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