Ebbsfleet United 0 Rushden & Diamonds 0

 

The Diamonds failed to repeat their exploits at Barrow, as they had to be content with a point from a goalless draw at Ebbsfleet. It was an even game, with both sides hitting the woodwork once, and both keepers making a single quality save.

As expected, Justin Edinburgh named an unchanged 16, following their performance at Barrow on Saturday.

The first half was a poor affair, with the Diamonds struggling to adjust to the home side’s 4-5-1 formation, and it was the hosts who had the few chances that occurred in the first 40 minutes, with Dale Roberts doing well to cover when Simon Thomas beat the offside trap. Magno Viera shot over from a good position, and Stefan Bailey headed a Collins cross wide.

It was only in the last five minutes of the half that the Diamonds really threatened the Fleet goal, with Craig Farrell tripping when running onto a Cliff Akurang flick on, then Mark Byrne hitting the post when set up by Matt Pattison. Lee Tomlin also had a chance to run on goal after great work by Paul Terry, but he was thwarted by Dean Pooley at the end of a lacklustre half.

Half-Time: Ebbsfleet United 0 Rushden & Diamonds 0

The second half had to be an improvement – and it certainly started with a bang, as Dale Roberts pulled out a great save to deny Magno Viera’s header. Lee Tomlin then had the Diamonds best chance of the game, as he was set free on goal by an Akurang flick, but he tried to lob keeper Cronin who was wise to it, and easily caught the ball.

The game then descended to the level of the first half, although Fleet came the closest to breaking the deadlock when substitute James Lindie struck the post with a header. Fleet also had claims for a penalty turned down when fell under a challenge from Jamie Stuart, but referee Whitton deemed the Fleet played had dived, and issued a yellow card.

The Diamonds had a couple of penalty claims of their own, as first Lee Tomlin was tackled by Leon Crooks in the area after he was alert to a Terry pass which dissected the Fleet defence, and then Craig Farrell was brought down just before the 90 minutes were up, but as with the Fleet claims, the referee looked to have got the decisions correct, as he did for much of the game.

Whereas the front six had impressed in the victory at Barrow on Saturday, it was the Diamonds back five that travel back from Kent with credit, as the attacking threat was severely blunted, and the second half substitutions changed little.

Full-Time: Ebbsfleet United 0 Rushden & Diamonds 0

The Diamonds now have a few days to prepare before the visit of Ebbsfleet’s neighbours Grays United to Nene Park on Saturday.

Ebbsfleet United : Lance Cronin, Jordan Collins, Gavin Heeroo, Dean Pooley, Magno Viera, Ishmael Welsh, Kane Willis (Ricky Shakes 85), Leon Crooks, Stefon Bailey (Jamie Forshaw 90+3), Darius Charles, Simon Thomas (James Lindie 58)

Subs Not Used: Will Salmon, Scott Ginty

Rushden & Diamonds : Dale Roberts, Max Porter, Kurt Robinson, Paul Terry, Jamie Stuart (Capt), Curtis Osano, Matt Pattison (James Reid 83), Mark Byrne, Craig Farrell, Cliff Akurang (Sam Smith 71), Lee Tomlin (Aaron O’Connor 66)

Subs Not Used: Bobby Aisien, Neil Cousins

Goals : None

Yellow Cards : Ishmael Welsh (Diving), Matt Pattison (foul)

Referee :R Whitton

Attendance : 863 (away 79)

Diamonds Man of the Match : Jamie Stuart

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