York City 2 Rushden & Diamonds 0

Rushden & Diamonds went down by two goals to nil to York City at Bootham Crescent. Goals in the last 15 minutes from Peter Till and debutant Leon Constantine sealed a game that had been fairly even until the interval. The home side had the better of the second period, and the introduction of Leon Constantine gave them an increased threat up front.

Justin Edinburgh made one change from the team that defeated local rivals Kettering Town on Monday, with Lewwis Spence replacing the suspended Justin Miller, with Max Porter moving to right-back. With Richard Brodie having departed on Tuesday, Martin Foyle started with Michael Rankine and Michael Gash up front, with Peter Till and Djoumin Sangare coming into the side.

The first half was an even affair with both teams producing some decent build-up play without creating many clear-cut chances, The two best chances came shortly before the break. Rene Howe broke into the area, beating two men and recovering from a slip as he ran along the byline, but he took the ball too close to keeper Ingham who dived on the ball.

At the other end Michael Rankine beat the Diamonds offside trap, but his poor first touch allowed Curtis Osano to stretch and toe-end the ball away. Rankine had created earlier chances for Gash, Till and Smith that didn’t trouble Dale Roberts, and at the other end Lewwis Spence went close with a dipping shot.

Rene Howe was able to find his way past his marker twice in quick succession on the right-hand side of the box, but he and Ryan Charles couldn’t link up the move. Charles was also denied when he nutmegged defender Parslow near the right touch-line and appeared to be clear on goal, but referee Khatib pulled back play as Djoumin Sangare had gone down injured for the second time.

Half-Time: York City 0 Rushden & Diamonds 0

After a fairly even first half, where the Diamonds passing game had produced several moves that linked defence to attack, the Diamonds midfield found they were being closed down more quickly in the second period, and could not work the ball forwards to their strikeforce or out wide to Green.

The hosts might have gone ahead seven minutes into the half, as a cross by Till from the right found Michael Rankine at the far post, but his half-volley bounced over the bar.

York had two further early chances, but both fell to the misfiring Gash, as Rankine and then Barrett worked the ball to him in the box.

On the hour mark York replaced striker Michael Gash with new arrival Leon Constantine (his signing was so late there had not been time to put his name and number on his shirt). The Minstermen immediately looked a more potent threat, as although Michael Rankine had impressed with his hold-up play, and had created chances for others, he hadn’t been able to trouble Roberts. Constantine had been a Diamonds triallist several seasons earlier, so may have been anxious to show what the club missed when they did not offer him a contract.

One of the Diamonds few threats to score in front of the travelling fans came on 66 minutes when Rene Howe broke past a challenge on the right, squared the ball for Ryan Charles who tried to set up Dominic Green, but the ball was cleared. That proved to be Green’s final involvement, as he was replaced by Jamie Day.

After 76 minutes the Minstermen took the lead. A long ball forwards from defence was flicked on by Constantine to an unmarked Peter Till, who had time and space in the area to pick his spot towards the left-hand side of the goal.

Any thoughts that the Diamonds might step up the pace and start creating chances for an equaliser were quickly quashed when the home side doubled their lead. Jamie Day and Kurt Robinson were both trying to take on the left-back role as Alex Lawless ran towards the right byline, with Robinson committing a foul as he broke past the pair of them. Lawless took the kick, which found Leon Constantine at the far post, and he headed past Roberts.

After this surge of goalscoring activity in a game that looked destined to finish goalless, the remainder of the game was largely uneventful, although the introduction of Aaron O’Connor for his seasonal debut was a small positive to end a disappointing afternoon on the road for the Diamonds.

Full-Time: York City 2 Rushden & Diamonds 0

Teams

York City: Michael Ingham (Capt), Daniel Parslow, David McGurk, Djoumin Sangare (Duane Courtney 32), James Meredith, Peter Till, Alex Lawless, Neil Barrett, Jonathan Smith, Michael Rankine, Michael Gash (Leon Constantine 64)

Subs Not Used: David McDermott, Greg Young, David Knight (GK)

Rushden & Diamonds: Dale Roberts, Kurt Robinson (Nathan Koranteng 83), Max Porter, Jamie Stuart (Capt), Curtis Osano, Lewwis Spence, Alan Power, Matt Johnson (Aaron O’Connor 79), Ryan Charles, Rene Howe, Dominic Green (Jamie Day 71)

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

Goals: Till (76, 1-0), Constantine (78, 2-0)

Yellow Cards: Smith, Spence

Referee: B Khatib (Tyne and Wear)

Attendance: 2306 (away 138)

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