Rushden & Diamonds 0 Aldershot Town 1

John Grant’s late volley gave Aldershot a narrow victory at Nene Park as Diamonds slipped further into the relegation mire.

Under new ownership, Diamonds caretaker manager Tony Godden made three changes to the side that went down 3 – 2 at St Albans last weekend. Former Grimsby Town midfielder Curtis Woodhouse came straight into central midfield after cutting short his brief boxing career; Glenn Wilson returned at right back while Simeon Jackson was preferred to Michael Rankine up-front.

Aldershot  manager Terry Brown made one change from the F A Cup side that overcame Chelmsford in midweek.  Ben Harding got the nod over Marcus Gayle in attack.

The visitors made a bright start and John Grant’s fierce shot on 4 minutes was comfortably saved by Scott Tynan.  Ryan Williams maybe could have done better with a volley after Louis Soares found him at the far post but Tynan did well to turn the ball away for a corner.

Diamonds first chance came shortly afterwards when defender Paul Watson’s cross found skipper Chris Hope whose strong header went just wide. Tyrone Berry put Jackson through but Aldershot ‘keeper Nikki Bull produced a fine double save after the ball rebounded back to the home side’s top scorer.

Ricky Newman’s strong run through the heart of the defence was wasted by John Grant’s lack of control in front of goal as both sides struggled in front of goal.

Indeed, both sides seemed t lack confidence as the game became somewhat scrappy with no real clear cut chances.

On 35 minutes a fine move from Aldershot ended with Tynan cutting out Mark Molesey’s dangerous cross. On the stroke of half-time, the same player shot over  from 20 yards as the visitors increased the tempo.

Half-time Rushden & Diamonds  0 – 0 Aldershot Town

A cross from Ryan Williams gave Mark Molesey a chance early in the second half but his header lacked pace allowing Tynan to save easily. Moments later a toe poke from Harding flew over the bar from the edge of the penalty area as Aldershot started where they finished off in the opening period.

On 59 minutes Marcus Kelly did well to clear off the line from Darren Barnard’s long range strike while five minutes later Molesey jinxed inside from the left only to see his rising shot go inches over the bar.

Minutes later indecision in the Aldershot defence allowed Jackson to run on towards goal and with just the goalkeeper to beat his fierce shot was only a whisker away from the left hand upright. Then substitute Michael Rankine found enough room in centre midfield before unleashing a powerful drive which went just over the bar.

On 70 minutes, Berry missed a glorious opportunity to give the home side the lead when his blistering pace down the right gave the winger a clear sight of goal but his attempt went woefully wide.

At the other end Molesey found himself with just Tynan to beat but under pressure from Glenn Wilson, the impressive midfielder’s shot flew over the bar.

Ten minutes from time Diamonds came close to taking the lead when Berry’ whipped in a cross from the right and Ricky Newman almost headed past his own ‘keeper but the ball hit the side netting. Berry tried his luck from 20 yards but the shot failed to find the target.

However, four minutes from time Aldershot took the points. Joel Grant’s cross from the right beat everybody apart from Williams but as Diamonds defence stood still Williams whipped in the ball from the left to the totally unmarked John Grant who volleyed gleefully into the roof of the net. Diamonds players appealed in vain for offside.

Diamonds threw everything at the visitors in the dying seconds but it was too little too late. They did have loud appeals for a penalty when Jackson seemed to be fouled in the area but referee Langford waived play on.


Rushden and Diamonds: Scott Tynan, Glenn Wilson, Paul Watson, Chris Hope, Dave Savage, Marcus Kelly, Simeon Jackson, Lee Tomlin (Michael Rankine 58), Tyrone Berry, Chris Plummer, Curtis Woodhouse (Tom Shaw 80)

Subs Not Used: Nicky Eyre, Wayne Hatswell, Ben Sedgemore

Aldershot: Nikki Bull, Dean Smith, Darren Barnard (Capt) (Curtis Osano 73), Ricky Newman, Rhys Day, Mark Molesey, David Lee (Ryan Scott 78), John Grant, Ryan Williams, Louis Soares (Joel grant 56), Ben Harding

Subs Not Used: Louis Wells, Marcus Gayle

Referee:  Mr O Langford

Attendance: 2,178 (Away 353)

Diamonds MOM: Dave Savage – who else!


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