Rushden & Diamonds 3 Altrincham 0

A super hat trick from Simeon Jackson inspired Diamonds to a comfortable victory at Nene Park.

Jackson capped a superb performance with his first ever senior treble and in truth the home side could have run up a cricket score if several clear cut chances had been converted.

Diamonds kept the same team that earned a good point at Kidderminster last Friday while the visitors – who only arrived at Nene Park at 2.30pm due to heavy traffic – make two changes from the side that were hammered 5 – 0 by Dagenham & Redbridge on Sunday. 

Diamonds were on the attack from the very first minute and goalkeeper Stuart Coburn sliced a clearance into touch after Michael Rankine chased down a back pass.

Diamonds were applying the early pressure and a fine run from Marcus Kelly left Gary Scott in his wake but the cross came to nothing.

On 9 minutes Diamonds should have been on the score sheet. Simeon Jackson’s fine pass allowed Paul Watson the chance to cross from the left but Michael Rankine’s header lacked power and fell the wrong side of the post.

Moments later the visitors had penalty appeals turned down after Wayne Hatswell tackled Lewis Chalmers in the area but it looked as though the Diamonds central defender had got his timing absolutely right.

On 18 minutes the visitors enjoyed their first attempt on goal when Warren Peyton bent his free-kick round the Diamonds wall but the ball went wide of the post.

 

Altrincham put together a fine move six minutes later when Joe O’Neill and Lewis Chalmers set up Colin Little on the left but from a narrow angle the visiting striker lost control and got crowded out.

 

Jackson couldn’t finish off a fine mazy run which took him past two defenders before Jon Ashton struck a long range effort over the bar on the half hour.

 

However, Diamonds took the lead on 33 minutes when Jackson ran onto Michael Rankine’s defence splitting pass, coolly drew Stuart Coburn and slotted home from 12 yards. A confident finish.

 

Jackson’s second goal two minutes later was even better. The Canadian Under – 20 international received the ball from Daniel Chillingworth 25 yards out – there appeared no danger – but Jackson turned and simply stroked the ball past Coburn and into the left hand side of the net for a wonderful strike.

 

Two minutes from the interval, Rushden lost the services of defensive midfielder Jon Ashton who was replaced by club captain Dave Savage.

 

Half-time Rushden & Diamonds            2 – 0 Altrincham

 

Within a minute of the restart Diamonds should have made the game safe.

A mistake in the Altrincham defence allowed Kelly the chance to slip the ball through to Rankine and while the striker found space after skipping round a defender, he could only balloon the ball over the bar.

 

The visitors were trying to make more of a fist of it but chances were few and far between. Six minutes later Joe O’Neill went wide with a 25 – yard shot.

 

Back came Diamonds and Jackson drilled a dnagerous looking cross from the right but nobody could get on the end of it. Little saw a deflected shot go away for a corner in what was to prove Altrincham’s last real pot at goal.

 

Diamonds were now in the ascendency. On 66 minutes, Ramkine was wide with a free header from Tom Shaw’s free-kick while the same player missed an even simpler chance four minutes later when he almost capitalised on indecison in the Alti defence but took too long to thread the ball into the empty net.

 

Jackson was everywhere and another great run ended with a cross that was just too high for Rankine lurking in the six-yard box.

 

The visitors day went from bad to worse on 75 minutes when Val Owen kicked out at Paul Watson after being tackled by the Diamonds defender and referee Serginson had no hesitation in showing the red card.

 

The earlier introduction of Tyrone Berry had freshened things up with a bit of pace and the youngster turned in an impressive cameo performance. On 78 minutes he dragged

the ball wide after gaining a clear sight of goal while five minutes later his fine strike whistled over the bar.

 

Moments later Berry’s cross picked out Marcus Kelly 18 yards out and Coburn produced a great one handed save to turn the ball over the bar.

 

 

Berry’s contribution deserved some reward and it was no real surprise when, from another fine cross, Jackson completed a wonderful hat trick by turning the ball home from close range.

 

There was just time for Watson to skim the crossbar with a rising drive before the referee blew the final whistle to end a good day at the office for Paul Hart’s men.

  

Teams:

 

 

Rushden & Diamonds: -  Nicky Eyre, Glenn Wilson, Paul Watson, Jon Ashton (Dave Savage 43), Chris Hope (c), Wayne Hatswell, Michael Rankine (Leo Fortune – West 79), Daniel Chillingworth (Tyrone Berry 71), Marcus Kelly, Simeon Jackson, Tom Shaw

 

Subs Not Used: Danny Crane, Greg Pearson.

 

Altrincham – Stuart Coburn, Gary Scott (Steve Aspinall 67), Gary Talbot, Steve Bushell (Capt) (Lee Hendley 29), Robbie Lawton, Val Owen, Colin Little, Warren Peyton, Joe O’Neill (Rod Thornley 76), Lewis Chalmers, Karl Munroe. .

 

Subs Not Used: Stephen Rose, Kieran Lugsden

 

Booked:  Talbot (Unsporting Behaviour 66), Kelly (Unsporting Behaviour 83)

 

Sent off: Val Owen (Violent Conduct 75)

 

Referee: Mr Chris Serginson

Attendance:  1,680 (93 Away fans)

Diamonds Man of the Match: Simeon Jackson – who else!

Full time Rushden & Diamonds 3 – 0 Altrincham

 

And a first career hattrick from teenager Simeon Jackson gave Diamonds a deserved victory despite being a little below par. In truth Rushden should have converted several good second half chances as well.

 

The teenager opened the scoring on 33 minutes when Jackson ran onto Michael Rankine’s defence splitting pass, coolly drew Stuart Coburn and slotted home from 12 yards.

 

Jackson’s second goal two minutes later was even better. The Canadian Under 20 international received the ball from Daniel Chillingworth 25 yards out – there appeared no danger – but Jackson turned and simply stroked the ball past Coburn and into the left hand side of the net.

 

The visitors huffed and puffed and weren’t helped by the sending off of Val Owen for violent conduct on 75 minutes. Colin Little’s miss from a narrow angle was their only real chance.

 

The introduction of substitute Tyrone  Berry galvanised Diamonds late on and it was his cross 2 minutes form the end that allowed Jackson to turn in at the far post for a memorable hattrick

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