Rushden & Diamonds 4 Grimsby Town 1

Rushden & Diamonds outplayed league newcomers Grimsby Town to record a 4-1 victory. The Diamonds took the lead after 40 minutes when a Green corner from the right was met by a late run into the area by Justin Miller who stooped to head home his debut goal for the club. Grimsby got a goal back through Mark Hudson at the start of the second half, but the Diamonds pressure was rewarded with three goals in the second half, with Ryan Charles and Rene Howe both scoring well-taken goals and then Max Porter completed the scoring from a pass from Dominic Green.

Justin Edinburgh made two changes to the team that defeated Wimbledon in midweek, with injuries to Michael Corcoran and Shane Huke meaning Justin Miller and Jamie Stuart started the game.

Grimsby manager Neil Woods made three changes to his midweek team.

In similar fashion to the game on Tuesday night, the Diamonds dominated the first half, only allowing the visitors a single chance early in the half when Micky Cummins was first to a corner at the near post, but Dale Roberts saved his flick comfortably.

Dominic Green was causing the Mariners all kinds of problems down the Diamonds left, and he helped to create many of the Diamonds chances in the first half. Ryan Charles workrate also troubled the Mariners defence, including when he chased a loose ball down ahead of Darran Kempson, squared it to Rene Howe, who laid it in the path of Alan Power to hit a low shot that was well saved by Kenny Arthur. Green also had an effort on goal with his left foot which just missed the left-hand angle of post and crossbar and also dinked a couple of ball across the box with his right foot after cutting inside which might have produced more on another day.

The Diamonds dominance continued through the half, with Rene Howe going close when he got his toe to the ball in the corner of the penalty area ahead of the advancing keeper, after Max Porter had worked the ball forwards, but the ball hit the side netting. Howe also went close when he got his head on a Kurt Robinson cross after the Diamonds had spread the ball from right to left.

Good work by Green on the left saw a dangerous cross elude keeper Arthur, forcing Bradley Wood to head out for a corner ahead of Matt Johnson. Green took the corner on the right, and Justin Miller timed his run into the area so he was allowed to stoop and head home unchallenged.

The half ended with the Diamonds continuing to threaten the second goal that their first half domination clearly merited, but they had to be content with the single goal lead at the interval.

Half-Time: Rushden & Diamonds 1 Grimsby Town 0

The Diamonds failure to score more than the single goal in the first half was quickly punished by the visitors, as Lee Peacock was able to break and get to the right byline and hit an angled cross that Mark Hudson was able to slot home from the edge of the six yard box.

The visitors then had a short period where it looked like they might be able to compete with their hosts, but Dominic Green went close when he fired a left foot shot from 25 yards just wide of the right hand post. The Mariners defenders had struggled to find their shape for much of the game, and Watt and Samuels became involved in an argument after conceding a corner, before the Diamonds made the game safe on the hour mark.

Visiting keeper Kenny Arthur picked up a knock as he fielded a routine loose ball after a corner, and let team-mate Steven Watt take his goalkicks. Watt scuffed his kick upfield, with Dominic Green winning the ball near the half-way line, heading it forwards to Rene Howe who headed on to Ryan Charles. Charles kept his cool, twisted past his marker Watt, to run into the area and roll the ball past Arthur for his debut Diamonds goal. From the restart the Diamonds quickly won back possession and a long ball forwards from Jamie Stuart dissected gap between the Mariners central defenders Watt and Kempson, who were struggling to cope with the presence of Rene Howe, and he was able to surge past them and slot the ball home from 20 yards for his second goal in successive games.

The Diamonds were not finished, and after 66 minutes they scored their fourth. Substitute Lewwis Spence had moved into left midfield, and he hit a long ball forwards to Rene Howe, who kept the ball despite the attention of two defenders before rolling it back to Spence. Spence hit a low ball across the box. despite pressure from a defender, that Max Porter narrowly failed to connect with, but it reached Dominic Green. Green was now working on the right hand side of the area, and he unselfishly rolled the ball back into the path of Max Porter to score his second goal of the season.

The half also contain a piece of play that few spectators will have seen before, with Dominic Green being penalised for kicking the ball a second time, after his corner hit a post, and bounced back to him without a defender getting close to the ball.

Although the visitors defence had looked in complete disarray after the fourth goal, the Diamonds did not further capitalise on these frailties, and the scoreline remained unchanged for the last 20 minutes, with Dominic Green coming closest to getting a goal that his performance would have merited. Mark Hudson also went close with a 35 yard shot that went inches from the left hand post. Jamie Day was able to join the action late on to make his belated Diamonds debut.

Full-Time: Rushden & Diamonds 4 Grimsby Town 1

The Diamonds now have to quickly prepare for the short trip up the A6 on Monday to face their local rivals as they look to pick up their first away points of the season.

Teams :

Rushden & Diamonds: Dale Roberts, Justin Miller, Kurt Robinson, Max Porter, Jamie Stuart (Capt), Curtis Osano, Alan Power, Matt Johnson (Lewwis Spence 63), Ryan Charles (Nathan Koranteng 79), Rene Howe, Dominic Green (Jamie Day 88)

Subs Not Used: Joe Day (GK), Joe Keehan

Grimsby Town, , Kenny Arthur, Bradley Wood, Steven Watt, Darran Kempson, Dwayne Samuels, Lewis Gobern (Tom Corner 75), Mark Hudson, Michael Cummins, Robert Eagle (Charles Ademeno 65), Alan Connell, Lee Peacock (Capt)

Subs Not Used: Scott Garner, Josh Fuller, Andi Thanoj

Goals: Miller (40, 1-0), Hudson (47, 1-1), Charles (59, 2-1), Howe (60, 3-1), Porter (66, 4-1)

Referee: R Whitton

Attendance: 1575 (away 541)

Diamonds Man of the Match chosen by Pizzeria Venezia: Rene Howe.

For video highlights click here

Images courtesy of Mal Swinden ©2012 Malcolm Swinden Photography

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