Rushden & Diamonds 0 Wrexham 2

Diamonds created an unwanted club record this afternoon when they lost for the sixth consecutive league game.

Wrexham strolled to only their second away win of the season thanks to a brace from top scorer Mark Jones who took his total to 13 goals this season.

After a week of comings and goings, Diamonds were looking to stop that unwanted record today. Danny Crane and Tony Stokes made their home debuts while Ronnie Bull and Peter Castle made their full debuts. Rob Gier was suspended while Gary Mills and Peter Hawkins were still out injured.

Wrexham made four changes from the side that drew at home against Lincoln last weekend. Jim Whitley and Shaun Pejic together with brothers Marc and Mike Williams came into the side as the visitors were looking for their first away points in four games.

Diamonds had an early chance when Lee Tomlin cut in from the right and blasted over while on five minutes debutant Bull hit a screamer form 20 yards which whistled over the bar.

On 12 minutes Drewe Broughton did well to shake a defender off before squaring the ball across the face of the goal to Tomlin who just failed to get a toe to the ball with an empty net beckoning.

The game was end to end and Neil McCafferty cleared up a goalmouth scramble to take the pressure off Diamonds. Broughton then found himself in space but screwed his shot over the bar.

Diamonds suffered the misfortune of losing Graham Allen with a groin strain on 22 minutes. Magnus Okuonghae came on to replace him.

Pejic almost gifted Diamonds a 29th minute goal when the Wrexham defender’s attempted back pass got nowhere near Michael Ingham but the visiting ‘keeper redeemed the situation by blocking Tomlin’s instinctive strike.

On 35 minutes, Wrexham went ahead with a goal out of the blue. Neil McCafferty failed to get his tackle in allowing leading scorer Jones space to score his 12th goal of the season from 25 yards.

That goal seemed to galvanise Wrexham and Lee Crane did well to block Jon Walters shot with his legs.

A minute from the interval Diamonds were lucky not to be further behind when Jim Whitley ran on to Walters flick and his drive beat Crane but rebounded back into the goalkeeper’s arms off the right hand post.

Moments later, Walters ran clear on the left but while Crane got the merest touches it was just enough to divert the ball past the far post.

The interval couldn’t come soon enough for Diamonds and Barry Hunter would need to keep his team focused if they were going to turn things round in the second half.

Half – time    Rushden & Diamonds 0 -1 Wrexham

Barry Hunter made a change at the interval bringing on new loan signing Berry in place of Ashley Nicholls.

Two minutes into the second half, Wrexham should have gone 2 up. Walters clever pass put 17 year old debutant Marc Williams into space but with just the goalkeeper to beat he somehow struck the bar from 12 yards.

Walters then missed with a free header following Simon Spender’s cross before Diamonds had their first chance of the second period but Whitley manage to head Broughton’s header off the line following Stokes’ corner.

Diamonds started to turn the heat up on Wrexham and McCafferty’s clever chip was headed off the line by Whitley again.

However, Wrexham wrapped up the points on 67 minutes with a well taken goal. Walters proved too strong for Okuonghae and when he looked up he fed Jones in acres of room

Jones could have completed his hat-trick six minutes later when he easily beat Castle in the area before seeing his attempted chip go just over the bar.

So another defeat and Diamonds have just 19 games left to turn things round if they are not to return to the Conference.

Rushden & Diamonds: – Dan Crane, Phil Gulliver, Graham Allen (Magnus Okuonghae 22), Dave Savage (Capt), Drewe Broughton, Ashley Nicholls Tyrone Berry 46), Neil McCafferty (Marcus Kelly 69), Ronnie Bull, Lee Tomlin, Tony Stokes, Peter Castle

Subs Not Used: Greg Pearson, John Turner.

Wrexham: – Michael Ingham, Jim Whitley, Andy Holt,,Danny Williams, Jon Walters, Darren Ferguson (Capt), Mark Jones, Shaun Pejic, Simon Spender, Marc Williams (Dean Bennett 83), Mike Williams

Subs Not Used: Michael Jones, Alex Smith, David Bayliss, Robbie Foy.

Booked:  Whitley 15 (Foul)

Sent off:

Referee: Mr T Parkes

Attendance:  2,617 (309)

Diamonds Man of the Match:  Ronnie Bull – bound to be a fans favourite.

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