Rushden & Diamonds 1 Grimsby Town 1



Simeon Jackson capped a fine week by coming off the bench to score a vital equaliser for Diamonds.


Ben Futcher headed Grimsby in front early in the second half before Jackson scored his first ever league goal at Nene Park on 72 minutes. Earlier this week, Jackson was selected for the Canadian U20 squad to play in the Porto Tournament in April.


Diamonds were looking to extend their winning home sequence to four matches and they made one change from the side that beat Macclesfield 1 – 0 last week. Phil Gulliver returned to central defence to replace Magnus Okuonghae after serving a one match suspension


The visitors should have gone ahead in the first minute when Dan Crane made a hash of a punched clearance but Wayne Hatswell produced a tremendous block to deny Ben Futcher.


Eight minutes later, a raking cross from Darren Caskey picked out Tyrone Berry on the right but after cutting inside, the youngster’s shot failed to worry Steve Mildenhall as he came under pressure.


Good play from Drewe Broughton allowed Marcus Kelly the chance to create danger with a whipped cross from the left but Robert Jones stretched to clear the danger.


On 25 minutes, Gary Jones was very lucky not to be shown the red card when he showed dissent by throwing the ball in the referee’s direction after being penalised for a foul. Referee Sutton decided that the card colour should be yellow but also gave the Grimsby midfielder a stern lecture. 


The game deteriorated as a spectacle after that and while Grimsby enjoyed more of the possession, there was very little cutting edge to their game. Diamonds were struggling to get out of their blocks and created very little in terms of attack. Broughton and Stokes were continually falling foul of Grimsby’s offside trap.


As half – time approached, Ronnie Bull was cautioned for a heavy tackle on John McDermott which saw the Grimsby captain leave the field to be replaced by Gary Croft.


As the referee’s whistle blew for half – time, it was hoped that the remaining 45 minutes would throw up far better fare than the opening period.


Half – time    Rushden & Diamonds      0 – 0 Grimsby Town


Diamonds missed a chance to go in front within 60 seconds of the restart when Stokes blazed over a header from Caskey’s set piece.


Tom Newey was inches away from the target with a 25 yards free – kick after Hatswell had been penalised for a foul.


On 54 minutes, Stokes’s through ball put Broughton in space but while the striker controlled the ball beautifully, he couldn’t get enough direction on the ball to trouble Mildenhall.


However, the visitors took the lead on 59 minutes when Futcher rose highest to head home Curtis Woodhouse’s left wing free – kick.


The game stagnated for a while with neither side taking control but Diamonds drew level with a goal out of nothing on 72 minutes. Hatswell’s free – kick was headed on by Broughton and as the the Grimsby defence stood still, Kelly scuffed his shot before Simeon Jackson placed the ball in the net for his first senior home goal.


Jackson was proving a real handful up front and he almost stole the points on 75 minutes when he ran onto a through ball only to see Mildenhall turn away his shot.


The youngster tried his luck again moments later but failed to get any power on his shot. In typical fashion, Diamonds threw the kitchen sink at their opponents in the dying minutes but were unable to score a winner. 


After the final whistle, the Grimsby players surrounded the referee still protesting about the Diamonds equaliser and Robert Jones was red carded for comments made to one of the Assistant Referees.



Rushden & Diamonds: – Danny Crane, Phil Gulliver, Rob Gier (Captain), Drewe Broughton, Darren Caskey , Wayne Hatswell, Ashley Nicholls, Ronnie Bull, Marcus Kelly, Tony Stokes (Simeon Jackson 61), Tyrone Berry (Barry Hunter 90)


Subs Not Used: Dave Savage, Petr Mikolanda, Magnus Okuonghae,


Grimsby Town: – Steve Mildenhall, John McDermott (Captain) (Gary Croft 45) Tom Newey, Ben Futcher, Paul Bolland, Michael Reddy, Robert Jones, Gary Cohen (Andy Parkinson 84), Ciaran Toner (Marc Goodfellow 58) Gary Jones, Curtis Woodhouse


Subs Not Used: .Jean – Paul Kalala,, Junior Mendes


Booked:  Gary Jones 25 (Dissent), Ronnie Bull 45 (Foul), Drewe Broughton 74 (Dissent)


Sent off:  Rob Jones (after the whistle)


Referee: Mr G Sutton


Attendance:  3,366 (Away 715)


Diamonds Man of the Match:  Wayne Hatswell – Mr consistency and a full blooded competitor.


Report by Chris Barritt 


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