Dagenham & Redbridge 1 Rushden & Diamonds 2

Victoria Road, Dagenham

Nationwide Conference

Rushden & Diamonds scored a magnificent victory over at Dagenham & Redbridge at Victoria Road, in one of their best team performances away from home for several seasons.

A great goal from Simeon Jackson and a second half strike from Chris Hope were enough for victory after an even first half and a dominant second.

Following the FA Trophy defeat, a number of cup tied players returned, and so both Michael Bostwick and Dino Maamria made their debuts in the starting line up, as well as Jason Goodliffe who appeared as a late substitute.

Manager Westley kept the same strike formation that sealed the win at Oxford, with Maamria lining up in midfield alongside Gary Mills, with Jamie Cook playing left midfield and Glenn Wilson on the right. Michael Bostwick started at right back, Wayne Hatswell at left, with Chris Hope and Mark Albrighton in central defence.

Daggers fielded their two new signings Jon Boardman and Chris Moore as they started their first game without the recently departed Mackail-Smith and Blackett.

After a great deal of early morning rain, the pitch was in decent condition, and the weather during the game remained dry until the last few minutes.

Diamonds kicked off attacking the end occupied by the Daggers fans, and had the best of the first few exchanges winning a corner and a number of throws in dangerous positions. In fact at one point the game threatened to be a battle between the long throws of Glenn Wilson and Scott Griffiths. The Diamonds throw-ins looked a serious threat, with Chris Hope heading one across the box to the feet of Gary Mills, but he could only manage a perfect "air-shot".

Chris Beardsley started brightly, and looked to be getting the better of his marker with a couple of excellent layoffs to Simeon Jackson.

Wayne Hatswell made the first of many great clearances he would make during the afternoon after Scott Tynan had palmed out a Craig Moore shot on six minutes, and the Daggers also had a couple of freekicks in dangerous positions, but each time the effort sailed over.

On 11 minutes the match stepped up a gear, firstly with a looping header from Dino Maamria which had Tony Roberts stretching, then a powerful Simeon Jackson shot which was narrowly over the bar. Daggers were playing a combination of a long ball game, and quick breaks through midfield, and it was the latter of these that saw the ball loop over the Diamonds defence. Although Chris Hope initially looked favourite to reach it first, he was rather flat footed and Paul Benson caught and challenged him, with Hope resorting to knocking the ball away with his hand. Although the referee had a stern word, no card was shown.

Hope was also rather fortunate a few minutes later, when a foul in the centre circle also went unpunished, shortly after the same player had headed narrowly over from a Jamie Cook corner. Dino Maamria was also getting stuck in playing a midfield role as the Diamonds were holding their own. He was fouled by his old adversary Jake Leberl and Wayne Hatswell headed narrowly wide from the resultant free kick.

The other Daggers threat remained from throw-ins on the left, and it was from one of these the Dave Rainford got in a shot on goal which was half blocked, and it took Chris Hope to make a great saving header for a corner. Scott Tynan also saved well from a Southam shot, shortly after getting rather agitated by the treatment he was getting during the long throw routines.

On 31 minutes Diamonds took the lead. Great work between Hatswell and Cook saw a long ball down the line from Jamie Cook to Simeon Jackson, wide on the left, and Jacko cut inside and hit an unstoppable shot into the far corner of Roberts’ net.

Before the celebrations by the 200 travelling fans had died down, the Daggers were level, and, as anticipated, it started from a throw in on the left, with Griffiths finding Sloma, whose high ball was headed on by Chris Moore across the six-yard box, just far enough away from Tynan, to reach Paul Benson who coolly slotted home.

On 35 minutes some poor defending by the Diamonds saw a Scott Griffiths cross-shot sail just over Tynan’s bar, and Chris Hope and Tynan caused a worrying moment after yet another Daggers long ball, as Hope had to take no chances and head out for a throw when it should have been Tynan’s ball.

However it was the Diamonds who came closest to adding a second, just before half-time, when another Simeon Jackson run saw his shot blocked, it fell to Chris Beardsley well inside the box, and his initial shot was also blocked, but he managed to poke a second attempt towards goal, but it narrowly eluded Glenn Wilson and the far post.

Half-time: Dagenham & Redbridge 1 Rushden & Diamonds 1

Diamonds started the second half the way they had started the first, with a number of dangerous looking attacks, although they were struggling to get the ball into a serious goal scoring position.

Albrighton and Hope continued to dominate the aerial battles, and the midfield and full backs were limiting the chances for the Daggers to run at the defence.

Glen Southam had a great run from just inside the Diamonds half on 50 minutes, beating several players, including Gary Mills, before hitting a looping shot just over the bar.

Wayne Hatswell was continuing to get forwards, and he fed Chris Beardsley on a couple of occasions, but the striker was unable to find a telling cross.

On the hour Daggers made two substitutions, bringing on Ben Strevens and Sam Saunders for Moore and Sloma, and Diamonds then brought off Chris Beardsley who had been putting in a lot of running for little reward, and brought on Michael Rankine.

Simeon Jackson was a constant threat to the Daggers defence, and on 69 minutes he had a great turn and run past the defence but his shot was cleared for a throw, from which Dino Maamria showed his ability to shield the ball and turn past a defender although his shot didn’t really threaten.

On 70 minutes, Daggers had one of their few chances of the second-half, and it really should have resulted in them taking the lead, as the two substitutes combined, and simple looking chance for Ben Strevens was scooped over the bar by the ex-Crawley striker.

Daggers were punished for this miss shortly afterwards, as Jamie Cook was fouled in the centre circle. The free kick was taken by Gary Mills, and won in the air by Chris Hope, and although his looping header was headed away by a group of Daggers defenders, it fell straight to the Diamonds Captain to volley home.

Diamonds now started to slow the game down, and as the Daggers players conceded a throw to their opponents, Michael Rankine tried to shepherd the ball down the running track. Danny Foster then caused a tussle on the touchline by pushing Rankine aside to try to retrieve the ball to speed up the Diamonds throw – and as at Northfleet, a tussle involving half-a-dozen players from each side, plus a few of the substitutes ensued. After a lot of pushing, shoving and general facing down, the referee took the two players involved in the original incident aside and gave each a yellow card – Rankine’s the second in successive games taking him one card away from a suspension.

Jamie Cook followed his team mate into the book shortly afterwards for a mistimed challenge, but referee Rendell was always in control.

Daggers rarely threatened an equaliser with Scott Tynan saving their best attempt – a header from Captain Anwar Uddin.

On 89 minutes the Daggers crowd became agitated with a decision where the referee overruled the linesman, as a Scott Tynan goalkick bounced over Rankine’s head and fell to Jackson who looked well offside, but as nobody had touched the ball the referee overruled the linesman’s flag.

Four minutes of injury time were signalled, and this was increased to over five by an injury time substitution that gave a debut to Jason Goodliffe, but some excellent Rugby-style kicking to touch, and a couple of further excellent clearances by Hatswell meant the Diamonds held out for a well-deserved victory.

So after beating second placed Oxford in the previous league game, Diamonds had beaten the league leaders with an excellent team performance to maintain their 100% record at Victoria Road.

Full-time: Dagenham & Redbridge 1 Rushden & Diamonds 2


Dagenham & Redbridge: Tony Roberts, Danny Foster, Anwar Uddin, Jon Boardman, Scott Griffiths, Sam Sloma (Ben Strevens (60)), Jake Leberl, Glen Southam, Dave Rainford, Paul Benson, Chris Moore (Sam Saunders (60))

Subs not used: David Hogan (GK), Tim Cole, Dominic Green

Rushden & Diamonds: Scott Tynan, Michael Bostwick, Wayne Hatswell, Mark Albrighton, Chris Hope, Jamie Cook, Gary Mills, Glenn Wilson, Dino Maamria, Simeon Jackson (Jason Goodliffe (90+2)), Chris Beardsley ( Michael Rankine, (67))

Subs not used: Martyn Margarson, Lee Tomlin, Marcus Kelly

Goals: Jackson (32), Benson (33), Hope (77)

Booked: Foster, Rankine, Cook

Referee: Mr G Horwood

Attendance: 1817 (Away approx 200).

Diamonds Man of the Match: The starting eleven – plus Michael Rankine – one of the best performances away from home in the league for several seasons


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