Rushden & Diamonds 0 York City 4

 

Rushden & Diamonds slipped to their biggest home defeat for five years as they slipped to a 4-0 defeat by York City at Nene Park. The result equalled their worst ever home defeats, against Carlisle in 2005 and Gateshead in 1996. An early goal direct from a free kick by Danny Racchi was followed closely by a red card for Jamie Day, and the Diamonds then conceded two further first half goals to Michael Rankine and Ashley Chambers as they played with three at the back.. After squandering a number of chances in the second half, the visitors completed the scoring in the 86th minute when Neil Barrett tapped home after good work from fellow substitute Peter Till.

As well as the impending suspension for Jamie Day, both Rene Howe and Curtis Osano picked up their fifth booking of the season, and Michael Corcoran left the field early in the game with what was described as a serious groin injury.

Justin Edinburgh made two changes to the starting line-that faced Fleetwood last weekend, with Joe Keehan replaced by Ryan Charles as they reverted to a 4-3-3 formation from the start of the game. Shane Huke replaced Matt Johnson, with Michael Corcoran moving into midfield, with Huke playing at centre-back. Goalkeeper Dale Roberts was absent due to illness, so Lance Key took a place on the bench.

York manager Gary Mills made two changes to restore Ashley Chambers and Robbie Weir after they were unavailable for their midweek FA Cup victory over Rotherham United.

After the first six minutes were largely uneventful, the next six had a major bearing on the outcome of the game. Michael Rankine found space on the right hand side of the area for a shot that was deflected for a corner, and although this was cleared the visitors surged back forwards, and with Shane Huke slipping, Rankine was brought down on the edge of the area by Curtis Osano. Danny Racchi stepped up and fired a free kick past the Diamonds wall and Joe Day to give the visitors the opening goal.

A minute later the Diamonds were forced into an early substitution when Michael Corcoran picked up a groin injury and had to be replaced by Matt Johnson. Worse was to come before 12 minutes were on the clock, as Jamie Day went forwards to support Ryan Charles. With the ball getting away from him, Day attempted a low tackle on Djoumin Sangare, and, although the contact appeared minimal, and it looked a genuine challenge for the ball, referee Bratt whipped out his red card without delay.

With one substitution already made, and with Kurt Robinson watching the game from the stand, the Diamonds kept the same 10 men on the field, and decided to keep three men at the back, rather than attempting to contain the game for a period. Curtis Osano moved to the left of the back three, and quickly picked up his fifth booking of the season as he halted a break through the centre by the impressive Ashley Chambers. Chambers had a good chance to score the visitors second goal when he found space on the right hand side of the area to receive a cross from the left, but miscued the ball and ended up in advertising boards behind the goal.

The Diamonds were creating chances, with Alan Power firing over, but after Curtis Osano and Ryan Charles had got in each other’s way and lost possession the ball was worked onto the York left, and a cross from Chambers to Michael Rankine saw him head home on his return to Nene Park after 24 minutes.

Again the Diamonds threatened to open their account as Curtis Osano threaded a ball forward to Rene Howe, and his clever flick set Aaron O’Connor free on the left side of the area. O’Connor was forced to attempt a cross / shot from a narrow angle and the ball went harmlessly across goal.

Chambers was able to find space for runs down either flank, and from one of these he presented David McDermott with a chance that was wasted, and another presented Michael Rankine with a chance to turn inside past the Diamonds defence and hit a low shot that was well saved by Joe Day.

Shane Huke had one of the Diamonds best chances of the half, when a Matt Johnson corner wasn’t cleared properly, but his effort was wide to the right of goal.

The game was effectively settled after 35 minutes when the visitors scored their third goal, and it deservedly went to Ashley Chambers, who latched onto a free kick from keeper Ingham that had been flicked on by Rankine, and neatly chipped the advancing Joe Day.

Aaron O’Connor forced Ingham into a smart save after good work from Max Porter had set him up for a shot. Rene Howe was rather more wayward with a shot that hit the backboard at the top of the AirWair stand. O’Connor went close again, and then Ryan Charles worked well to get past Danny Parslow, but floated a cross just to the right of the far post.

The Minstermen looked to have a chance for a dangerous break when James Meredith broke out of defence, but Michael Rankine made an American Football-style off-the-ball block tackle on Shane Huke to prevent him making a challenge, and appeared very fortunate to escape a card, especially when compared to other challenges that were given yellows later in the game.

Half-Time: Rushden & Diamonds 0 York City 3

Games that are effectively settled by half-time often turn into low tempo contests for the second period, but this game continued to see many chances created at both ends, as the Diamonds stuck with their policy of playing a back-three.

The closest the Diamonds game to getting a return for their battling second half performance was when Matt Johnson rapped the inside of the left hand post with a volley that looked certain to rebound into the net, but instead went straight into the grateful arms of keeper Ingham.

Alan Power also went close with a shot, but at the other end poor finishing was the only reason the visitors didn’t increase their lead, as excellent chances for Weir, Chambers and substitute Constantine were wasted.

Shane Huke picked up a yellow card for what looked a clean tackle on David McDermott, and Rene Howe also picked up his fifth booking of the season later in the half.

Referee Bratt’s controversial performance in the first half was capped in the second when he failed to award what looked a blatant penalty for the Minstermen, when Alan Power appeared to block a powerful goal-bound shot with his arms.

Excellent work by Rene Howe saw him shield an Osano throw past David McGurk and generate a shooting chance that forced a good save from Ingham. The Diamonds were still creating chances, forcing good saves and their corner count reached nine – more than in some games that they have won fairly comfortably.

Joe Day did well to save from Barrett and Peter Till shot wide before the Diamonds saw Johnson hit the post.

Any thoughts that the Diamonds goal might survive the significant number of excellent chances created by the visitors were quashed inside the last five minutes when substitute Peter Till made a run down the right, broke into the area and knocked a low ball to the far post for Neil Barrett to fire home.

There was still time for the Diamonds to go close as a 30 yard shot from Craig Farrell just missed the right-hand post.

Full-Time: Rushden & Diamonds 0 York City 4

With three players suspended and the probability of losing Michael Corcoran due to his injury, the Diamonds will be forced into changes for the game at Forest Green next weekend.

Teams:

Rushden & Diamonds: Joe Day, Curtis Osano, Jamie Day, Jamie Stuart (Capt), Michael Corcoran (Matt Johnson 9), Max Porter, Alan Power, Shane Huke, Ryan Charles (Craig Farrell 79), Rene Howe (Tim Sills 74), Aaron O’Connor.

Subs Not Used: Lance Key(GK), Lewwis Spence

York City: Michael Ingham, James Meredith, David McGurk, Danny Parslow, Chris Smith (Capt), Ashley Chambers, Robbie Weir, Djoumin Sangare (Neil Barrett 55), David McDermott (Peter Till 59), Michael Rankine (Leon Constantine 84), Danny Racchi.

Subs Not Used: Chris Carruthers, Jamal Fyfield

Goals: Racchi (8 mins, 0-1), Rankine (24, 0-2), Chambers (36, 0-3), Barrett (86, 0-4)

Yellow Cards: Osano, Huke, Howe, O’Connor

Red Cards: Jamie Day (12)

Referee: Mr S J Bratt (West Midlands)

Attendance: 1132 (away 133)

Diamonds Man of the Match chosen by Match Sponsor Greg Johnson: Aaron O’Connor

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