Rushden & Diamonds 1 Barnet 2



Barnet secured their Football League status thanks to two goals in three minutes early in the second half.  


Outgoing manager Barry Hunter made several changes to the side that were relegated following the 2 – 0 defeat at Boston last weekend.

Rob Gier returned at right back following suspension with Ashley Nicholls switching to left back. Tyrone Berry came in on the right of midfield with Petr Mikolanda and Lee Tomlin preferred up front.


Barnet were one of five teams hovering on 51 points just above the relegation zone. They needed three points to secure their Football League status.


There was a fitting tribute to Barry Hunter when the players formed a guard of honour as he came onto the pitch for his last game in charge of Diamonds.


The visitors had the better of the opening exchanges but had to wait until the 12th minute before they created a chance. Tresor Kandol headed over from Nick bailey’s free kick before two minutes later the same player missed an even easier chance with a free header from Liam Hatch’s cross.


Not unexpectedly Barnet were taking the game to Diamonds and the home side were looking somewhat off the pace.


Hatch and Dean Sinclair were both cautioned for fouls before Marcus Kelly was well wide with Diamonds first shot on 28 minutes. Great skill from Mikolanda allowed the Czech to whip in an inviting cross towards Darren Caskey but Ross Flitney was able to clear the danger.


Almost immediately, Barnet were presented with another clear chance when Kandol, again, found himself all alone but he lacked composure and his shot was easily dealt with by Crane.


Two minutes later Paola Vernazza tried his luck from the edge of the penalty area but failed to hit the target while there were loud appeals for a penalty six minutes from the interval when Adam Goss appeared to catch Tony Stokes in the box but referee Styles was perfectly placed to wave the appeals away.


Half – time Rushden & Diamonds     0 – 0   Barnet


There was an early booking for the visitors when Nick Bailey scythed down Berry. Kelly tried his luck from 20 yards but was well wide before Stokes produced a great saving tackle to deny Sinclair as the midfielder looked certain to score.


However, Barnet took the lead on 51 minutes thanks to a mistake by Wayne Hatswell. Vernazza’s chip should have been easily cut out by the Diamonds central defender but he mistimed his jump leaving Hatch to smash the ball past Dan Crane from six yards.


Three minutes later it was virtually game over. There looked no real danger

when Hatch shot from long range but Crane made a hash of attempted save leaving Bailey with a simple tap in.


Diamonds threw on Simeon Jackson and Daniel Grainger in place of Mikolanda and Berry but Diamonds looked well below par and seemed devoid of ideas. There were further appeals for a penalty when Vernazza appeared to handle in the area on the hour


Hatch headed over a couple of minutes later while the visitors had penalty appeals of their own on 71 minutes when Ashley Nicholls seemed to clatter into Sinclair but nothing was given.



With five minutes remaining Diamonds scored a consolation goal when Caskey’s short free kick found Jackson and the teenager found the left hand corner of the net from 18 yards.



Rushden & Diamonds: – Dan Crane, Phil Gulliver, Rob Gier (Captain), Petr Mikolanda (Simeon Jackson 58), Darren Caskey, Wayne Hatswell, Ashley Nicholls, Marcus Kelly, Lee Tomlin, Tony Stokes (Tom Shaw 74) , Tyrone Berry (Daniel Grainger 54)


Subs Not Used: Scott Tynan, Magnus Okuonghae,


Barnet: – Ross Flitney, Nick Bailey, Simon King, Ian Hendon (Captain), Adam Gross, Liam Hatch (Jason Norville 81), Dean Sinclair, Tresor Kandol, Paola Vernazza, Andy Hessenthaler, Paul Warhurst.


Subs Not Used: Giuliana Grazioli, Danien Batt, Louis Soares, Matthew Reed


Booked:  Hatch 25 (Foul), Sinclair 27 (Foul), Bailey 46 Foul), Caskey 52 (Dissent), Mikolanda 56 (Foul), Gross 59 (Foul), Warhurst 67 (Foul)


Sent off: 


Referee: Mr R Styles


Attendance:  4,174 (Away 1,491)


Report by Chris Barritt


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