Rushden & Diamonds 1 York City 1

Rushden and York shared the spoils on a cold and windy Easter Saturday as Diamonds were unable to make their early domination count. Richard Brodie gave the visitors the lead on 55 minutes, with Chris Hope equalising from a corner six minutes later.

Manager Garry Hill made two changes to the team which had lost at Histon last weekend. Curtis Woodhouse returned after his boxing victory last Sunday, while Charles Ademeno was preferred to Michael Rankine in attack. Jon Challinor was fully fit again having recovered from the stomach bug that forced him off at Histon. Both Rankine and Andy Gooding were named on the bench – Gooding having had treatment for a sprained ankle, but Lee Tomlin was not named in the squad after a thigh strain.

York boss Colin Walker made just one change from the team that won at Forest Green on Tuesday night, with the injured Nicky Wroe being replaced in the eleven by striker Onome Sodje. David McGurk (calf), and Manny Panther (knee) had both recovered from injury with Panther named amongst the substitutes. Craig Farrell remained sidelined due to a foot injury.

Although York have a slender chance of making the play-offs, they didn’t seem to have much urgency in their play as Diamonds looked more lively during the opening twenty minutes. Despite having greater possession though, they were unable to penetrate the York defence. Jon Challinor and Charles Ademeno looked to have a good understanding with each other but were unable to open up the visitors. Ademeno had a good chance after just 6 minutes, his shot from Tom Shaw’s corner being cleared off the line by Stuart Elliott.

Within the opening fifteen minutes, Andy Burgess fired over, while Ademeno and Challinor both had efforts saved by keeper Tom Evans. York were forced to make a change on 15 minutes, when defender Darren Kelly appeared to suffer a leg injury with Darren Craddock replacing.

A counter attack from the visitors on 20 minutes saw Richard Brodie’s cross find Mark Robinson at the far post. He in turn found Martyn Woolford whose shot went over. York had to wait until just before the half hour point for their first real shot on target. Martyn Woolford’s corner found captain Dave McGurk, and his header went through the crowded area, with Dale Roberts having to dive right to push the ball wide.

On 34 minutes, Simon Rusk’s foul on Charles Ademeno led to a free kick to Diamonds in a dangerous position just outside the area. Chris Hope’s shot lacked power however and was easily taken by Evans. During the final ten minutes of the first half, neither side was able to mount a challenge on goal and despite having better possession, Diamonds couldn’t break down the York defence to create a scoring opportunity. The nearest they came was a shot from distance by Andy Burgess just before the whistle, which went straight at the keeper.

Half-time: Rushden & Diamonds 0 – 0 York City

Having been second best for most of the first half, York started the second period more determined. They had a real chance to go in front within two minutes of the restart after Onome Sodje dispossessed Curtis Osano deep in the Diamonds half. Sodje’s cross to the far post found Richard Brodie’s right foot, but he was unable to direct the ball into the net and Dale Roberts pushed the ball away to safety. Osano blocked an effort from Mark Robinson, while Stuart Elliott shot straight at Roberts.

After 55 minutes, York went ahead as they pushed forward again. Simon Rusk played the ball across field to find Ben Purkiss who was free on the right. His cross found Richard Brodie running in at the far post who headed past Dale Roberts.

After the goal, York started to fade again as Diamonds went forward. On 61 minutes, Marcus Kelly was fouled on the left some 15 yards outside the area. Kelly took the free kick high to the far post where Chris Hope came in unmarked and headed past Tom Evans to bring the scores level again.

Midway through the second period, Michael Rankine came on for Charles Ademeno as Diamonds tried to push forward. On 75 minutes, a poor clearance by Evans found Curtis Woodhouse with space to play the ball straight back over the defence and in to Rankine. But as the keeper advanced, he fired over the bar. Adbou El-Kholti replaced Kelly immediately after the miss, taking up a position in the left midfield.

The Minstermen were guilty of getting caught in possession time and time again, but Diamonds had difficulty taking advantage. With just under ten minutes remaining, Chris Hope played the ball up to Challinor in the area. As he tried to get a shot on goal, he appeared to be impeded, but nothing was given by the referee Rob Whitton. Challinor was in the wars again at the other end of the field on 86 minutes as he received an elbow in the face from Brodie as he tried to get on the end of a Woolford corner. After three minutes of treatment, he was taken off with Conal Platt coming on for his home debut.

Diamonds continued to push forward in stoppage time and Tom Shaw came close after Dean Howell’s cross was flicked on by Platt. Moments later, Shaw’s corner found Hope again in the area, but his shot went just past the upright.

Full-time: Rushden & Diamonds 1 – 1 York City

Another point sees Diamonds move up a place to 14th with Garry Hill still striving for a top ten finish. Three games in the next week commence with a Bank Holiday Monday afternoon game at Aggborough against old rivals Kidderminster Harriers. It will be 22nd competitive meeting between the two sides.

Teams:

Rushden & Diamonds – Roberts, Osano, Hope(c), Challinor (Platt 86), Woodhouse, Ademeno (Rankine 69), Burgess, Shaw, Kelly (El-Kholti 75), Howell, Corcoran.

Subs not used:. Gulliver, Gooding.

York City – .Evans, Robinson (Panther 80), Elliott, McGurk(c), Parslow, Sodje, Woolford, Rusk (Lloyd 89), Brodie, Purkiss, Kelly (Craddock 15).

Subs not used: Mimms, Fortune-West.

Goals: Brodie 55 (0-1), Hope 61 (1-1).

Booked: Nil.

Referee: Mr R.Whitton (Essex).

Attendance: 1423 (140 away).

Man of the Match chosen by Mick Heffron – Curtis Woodhouse

By Dave Mason

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