Rushden & Diamonds 0 York City 1

 

The Diamonds unbeaten run in the league ended as they lost by a single goal to close rivals York City. The Minstermen’s winner was scored by Richard Brodie with a header midway through the second half, as he got clear of his marker at a corner. In a game of few chances, Brodie’s effort was one of the rare attempts on goal, with the Diamonds seeing their best effort to equalise being a shot from Craig Farrell that was saved by Michael Ingham.

The game saw the return of Dale Roberts in the Diamonds goal following recent mistakes by Nathan Abbey. Jefferson Louis and Aaron O’Connor were preferred up front, and Paul Terry returned in central midfield, allowing Mark Byrne to move to the right to replace the injured Neil Cousins. Simon Downer continued at right back. The Minstermen included Michael Rankine in their line-up.

The first half action came in patches, interspersed with long period of stalemate. After a quiet first 15 minutes York had the first meaningful threat when Brodie and Lawless combined to free up Chris Carruthers for a shot which took a deflection forcing Dale Roberts to make an excellent save. From the resultant Barrett corner the ball was flicked to the unmarked Michael Rankine, who blazed wide.

The Diamonds quickly created a great chance of their own, when Jefferson Louis flicked on a long ball to Aaron O’Connor who ran past his marker and hit an angled shot that beat Ingham but clipped the far post. Lee Tomlin took the corner on the left, and Jamie Stuart headed towards goal and saw it deflect off one York defender on the line, across to another on the line and away to safety with the Diamonds questioning whether the ball had crossed the line.

Another fairly quiet period was followed by a good Diamonds move that saw a Lee Tomlin volley blocked by McGurk, and a Tomlin run past McGurk halted by Alex Lawless, with calls for a penalty rather muted, especially as it appeared Tomlin had fouled McGurk on his way into the box.

Half-Time: Rushden & Diamonds 0 York City 0

Jack Ainsley was brought on at the break for his league debut to replace Simon Downer who had picked up a knock in the first half. There was initial promise in the Diamonds play when one of their few sweeping moves of the game saw Jefferson Louis fire a crossfield ball to Mark Byrne, who controlled the ball well before hitting a shot that appeared to be curving towards the top corner, but Ingham did well to catch cleanly.

The game went even more flat in the second half, with very little action of note in a stop-start affair punctuated by niggly fouls and offside decisions.

York made a double substitution on 62 minutes, including replacing Michael Rankine by Michael Gash, and within a couple of minutes Gash was presented with a great chance after good work from Chris Carruthers following a clearance from Jack Ainsley that put Paul Terry under pressure. The chance was wasted however, and Gash knocked the ball tamely out of play with his standing foot.

The Diamonds began to defend rather deeply, and the York back line was able to take up position near the half-way line with little prospect of the Diamonds putting the ball into space behind them. Left back James Meredith was having a good game, and he was able to get forward and force a corner off Jack Ainsley. The Diamonds had been preparing to bring on Craig Farrell for Jefferson Louis, but deferred the change to allow Louis to help defend the corner. Before the kick was taken Louis and Richard Brodie were given a "talking to" by referee Coote, but when the kick was finally taken by Neil Barrett, Richard Brodie ran clear of his marker and planted a header past Roberts and the two defenders on the line from close range from about 10 yards out.

The Diamonds were giving away far too many silly free kicks, which meant they couldn’t create any kind of rhythm, and rarely threatened Ingham’s goal.

Five minutes of additional time were signalled, and in the third of these the Diamonds forced a corner, with the ball skewing off McGurk’s foot. The corner from the left was one of a few that threatened the visitor’s defence, and it fell to Craig Farrell near the penalty spot, but his effort was well saved by Ingham – perhaps only his second real save of the game.

Full-Time: Rushden & Diamonds 0 York City 1

Teams

Rushden & Diamonds: Dale Roberts, Simon Downer (Jack Ainsley HT), Kurt Robinson, Max Porter, Jamie Stuart (Capt), Curtis Osano, Mark Byrne, Paul Terry (Cliff Akurang 81), Aaron O’Connor, Jefferson Louis (Craig Farrell 73), Lee Tomlin

Subs Not Used: Joe Day (GK), Matt Pattison

YorkCity: Michael Ingham, Alex Lawless (Andy Ferrell 90+2), David McGurk, Danny Parslow (Capt), James Meredith, Chris Carruthers, Levi Mackin (Adam Smith 62), Luke Graham, Neil Barrett, Michael Rankine (Michael Gash 62), Richard Brodie

Subs Not Used : Josh Mimms (GK), Kevin Gall

Goal : Richard Brodie 73

Yellow Cards: O’Connor (foul)

Referee : David Coote

Attendance : 1117 (away 153)

Diamonds Man of the Match sponsored by Pestfree: Aaron O’Connor

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