Woking 3 Rushden and Diamonds 0

 

Rushden were blown away by a whirlwind Woking performance at a sunny Kingfield. Two early goals effectively ended the game as spectacle as a lacklustre RDFC side were disappointing throughout the side during the first-half, and only managed to salvage a modicum of respect in the second.

Rushden started quite brightly, with three quick attacks looking dangerous with Jackson and Berry’s pace threatening the lanky Woking defenders.

However, it was from the third of these attacks that Woking Captain Neil Smith hooked the ball forward to on-loan striker Jon Nurse, who looked to be outpacing Wayne Hatswell, but an outstretched leg conceded a corner – although the Woking fans thought a penalty should have been awarded, It mattered not though, as from the resultant corner the diminutive Nurse directed a free header to the far post, where Craig McAllister was able to net easily.

Worse was to come in the ninth minute. The lively Nurse was fouled by Chris Hope, and from the resultant free kick the ball headed towards the front corner of the penalty box, where in an innocuous challenge Chillingworth handled, and although the offence looked to be outside the box, the ref awarded a penalty and a yellow to the newly shorn Chilli. McAllister converted the penalty as RDFC wondered what had hit them.

Diamonds were in disarray, with any possession constantly surrendered via long balls that were going straight through to the goalie unchallenged.

The defence were caught out again in the 20th minute, when Nurse beat the offside trap and was allowed to run through unchallenged, but luckily was forced wide. All the defenders had a hand in giving Woking their third goal on 24 minutes – a poor Hope clearance was picked up by Lambu, who was fouled by Wilson, and from the freekick taken by Bunce a very poor header by Hatswell looped to Watson, whose equally poor header fell to Sole, who hit a great volley from the corner of the box past Eyre.

Finally, with almost half an hour gone, Tyrone Berry started to get in the game, switching to the left to try to find some kind of service, but he failed to test the goalie when teed up by Dave Savage on the corner of the six yard box, and Savage himself had time to spare in the box, after a good cross from Jon Ashton but allowed his shot to be blocked.

Diamonds managed a couple of corners towards the end of the half, and although all corners were being taken by Paul Watson for this game, none of them caused significant worry in the Woking defence.

On 42 minutes Diamonds won a free kick after a foul on Chilli, and Hatswell won his header right in front of goal, but could only get a slight flick and the danger passed.

Half Time: Woking 3 – 0 Rushden and Diamonds FC

As expected, Paul Hart made changes at Half-time, bringing on Leo Fortune-West for Jackson, and Greg Pearson for Chilli. Finally Diamonds long balls started to worry the Woking defence, as LF-W started winning the ball, and Greg Pearson was able to make some decent runs. The change to a 4-4-2 formation also gave Woking a few problems, as did the chance for Tyrone Berry to hug the touchline and get a couple of crossed to LF-W.

Woking still threatened on the break, with Nicky Eyre making one good save from the dangerous Nurse, and Wayne Hatswell being relieved when beaten by Nurse and Ferguson to see McAllister’s attempt on goal well blocked by Hope.

Although the second half performance was much improved, the Woking goalie was still having a very easy afternoon, as a number of shots sailed high and wide. The biggest threat was coming from the Wilson long throws, although Dave Savage was linking up well with the forward line for the first time in the game.

Woking made a series of substitutions without affecting their shape too much, and the match meandered to the inevitable goalless second half. They even had time to take off Nurse to celebrate his last appearance before returning to Stevenage as he left the pitch to cries of "Nursey", but it was the RDFC team performance that brought the most comparison to the BlackAdder character !

Full Time: Woking 3 – 0 Rushden and Diamonds FC

Reporters MoM (joint) – Leo Fortune-West and Greg Pearson – can’t be blamed for the first half debacle, and brought a modicum of respect in the second half.

 

Woking

 

1 Shwan Jalal
3 Daniel Bunce
4 Neil Smith (Capt)
5 Tom Hutchinson
6 Gary MacDonald
8 Karl Murray
9 Craig McAllister
17 Karim El Salahi
18 Goma Lambu (Ferguson 71)
24 Giuseppe Sole
26 Jon Nurse (Sankoh 89)

Unused Subs Berquez, Oyedele, Howe

Rushden and Diamonds FC

 

1 Eyre
3 Watson
5 Hope
6 Hatswell
2 Wilson
4 Ashton
11 Kelly
7 Savage
10 Chillingworth (Pearson 45)
12 Jackson (Fortune-West 45)
15 Berry

Unused Subs : Crane, Rigby, Grainger

Attendance 2084 (159 away)

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