Bury 1 Rushden & Diamonds 1

About 90 Rushden fans made the 7 hour round trip to Gigg Lane, on a cold, wet and windy evening, for this re-arranged fixture, cancelled previously due to a frozen pitch. This match can’t have been far off being called off again, this time due to a waterlogged pitch, with the groundsman struggling to remove large puddles from the pitch right up to kick off.

The game opened with the rain still pouring down, and Diamonds starting line up, unchanged from Saturday, kicking toward the Bury end.

Bury attacked from the kick off, and an early corner was cleared by Caskey at the near post. Shortly afterwards  an accidental handball by Bull led to a Bury free kick which was cleared easily by Kelly. The ball was sticking in the Midfield area, and both teams were trying to get it wider where there was at least some chance to play some football.

On 8 minutes Gulliver cut out a dangerous cross to concede a corner. This was taken short to David Flitcroft, and whipped in low, which after a scramble in the box was deflected off Bull’s knees and caught by Tynan. Shortly after a good chance fell to Bury’s #22 Tipton, but he fortunately put the ball into the side of the net.

Diamonds now pushed up, and with the ball played out to the right hand side, where it was less sticky. Berry had a nice run, and shot from outside the box, that was saved comfortably by the Bury keeper, Dootson.

After 20 minutes, Drewe Broughton picked up the ball on the edge of the box. He was driven slightly wide as he rounded the keeper, the ball seemed to get slightly stuck under his feet, and his resultant shot was blocked for a cooner, under a last ditch challenge from the Bury defence.

Bury then pushed on through the midfield, and Tyrone Berry used his pace and covered back excellently to cut out a dangerous through ball, which Gier then mopped up.

With 23 minutes gone, a relieved looking Gulliver stretched to make a clearance which went just over the Rushden crossbar. Bury then had a couple of corners. but the Diamonds defence remained solid, supplemented with Broughton covering back.

On 27 minutes a Gulliver handball, and clearance straight at the Linesman who didn’t even flinch, brought a cheer from the away fans.

The next 10 minutes or so was pretty even, lots of throw ins, and the odd shot from either side but nothing too dangeorus. On 40 minutes Rushden pushed forward with Caskey and Stokes, but a through ball for Mikolanda went wide and the opportunity was wasted.

Another similar chance created down the left with Kelly, and Broughton, also resulted in another overhit cross which eluded Mikolanda at the far post once more.

At Half Time Diamonds had shown some good attacking movements, and honours were pretty even. The consensus amongst the away fans was that it looked as if one goal was going to secure the points. In the conditions  both sides were playing some decent football, and some sensible refereeing had kept the game flowing as far as possible.

Shortly after kick off (the rain still falling – though it eased off at times), Flitcroft was at the centre of a number of good Bury attacks, and a nice shot just went wide of the post. Flitcroft and Tipton were starting to look dangerous for Bury.

On 56 Minutes Tomlin came on for Mikolanda who had worked hard, but not created too many chances. and hasn’t yet clicked with Drewe up front. Shortly after Nicholls came on for Stokes, to add some more bite into the midfield.

After 61 minutes an excellent ball from Caskey out to the right wing, brought in Berry, who drive inside, and pulled  a great ball back for Tomlin, who arrived 10 yards out, and struck the ball well, to bring out a great save from Dootson. Another good ball from Berry gave Tomlin another chance, this time scuffed wide of the post.

Bury then had a good period of pressure with Diamonds defending deep, and conceding a number of corners. Gulliver gave away  a  free kick on the edge of the box, that had the home fans shouting for a penalty. Hard to tell from where we were.

The resultant free kicked went safely over the bar. Caskey then had a free kick at the other end, which was hit tamely into the wall.

On 82 minutes, the referee pulled back play for a challenge on Nicholls (He had played an almost rugby like advantage) to give Rushden a free kick about 30 yards out. Hatswell stepped up, and hit a great free kick straight into the top left corner, to send the away fans wild with excitement, and the possibility of a crucial 3 points. After the excitement died down a few of the wise heads wondered if we’d scored a bit early though.

Unfortunately they were to be proved correct on 87 minutes, when a ball into the box was not cleared, and nodded down to Tipton who calmly slotted the ball into the net.

On 88 minutes Millsy came on in place of Berry, and delivered a crunching tackle within 30 seconds.

In the dying moments Broughton had a good chance to win the game, when he got free and wide, but with heavy legs, his weak shot was saved by Dootson.

The players gave their all on what was a very sticky pitch. In the end a draw was probably fair, even though extremely frustrating having led with about 10 minutes to go.

The referee had a good match and matched the conditions with common sense refereeing which was good to see.

Looks like we’ll have to wait until nearer the end of the Season to see if this was 2 points lost, or 1 point gained. And we’ll have to keep the Headline “Bury Buried by Berry” for another day…


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