Rushden & Diamonds 1 Hayes & Yeading Utd 1

 

Rushden & Diamonds were held to a 1-1 draw by Hayes & Yeading United at Nene Park on Saturday.

After the Diamonds dominated the opening 30 minutes, the visitors took the lead, against the run of play, when Andy Yiadom fired home from 20 yards. Michael Gash scored with a header shortly before half-time after good work by Aaron O’Connor, but the Diamonds could not reproduce their domination of the first half during a scrappy second period.

Justin Edinburgh was still without Jamie Day and Paris Cowan-Hall due to illness, and Max Porter could only take a place on the bench as he was suffering from a virus. Porter’s absence meant the introduction of Matt Johnson was the only change to the team that defeated Bath City 5-1 in midweek.

Hayes & Yeading manager was able to name ex-Diamond Jefferson Louis in his starting line-up, with Louis playing as the lone striker in a 4-5-1 line-up. Despite scoring a hat trick in the 3-3 draw between the teams at Church Road, Elliott Buchanan had to be content with a place on the bench.

The Diamonds completely dominated the opening half-hour, and easily could have been two or three goals ahead. The main Diamonds threat came down the right, as it had done against Bath City in midweek, with both Ryan Charles and Justin Miller getting in dangerous crosses that could easily have resulted in the opening goal. Miller was also causing problems for the United defence with his long throws, with a towel on hand to help dry the damp ball as a fine rain fell in Northamptonshire. Aaron O’Connor almost set up Ryan Charles, but good work from Adam Bygrave cleared the danger.

The nearest they came to scoring during this period was when a Power corner found the head of Shane Huke, but his effort was cleared off the line by Adam Green and then the loose ball was cleared from under his own crossbar off the knee of Bradley Pritchard.

Justin Miller showed his versatility by cutting inside and hitting a dangerous cross with his left foot which presented Matt Johnson with a chance that he saw bundled wide.

An Alan Power corner from the left looped directly into goal, but referee Ford penalised Michael Gash for a foul on the goalkeeper. Both Miller and Oshodi also had chances as they came forward at a number of Diamonds corners during the opening quarter.A Charles cross looked destined for the head of Michael Gash but Charlie Wassmer cleared the danger.

Aaron O’Connor’s first touch was rather heavy when Michael Gash flicked on a long ball from Eddie Oshodi, allowing keeper Preddie to close down the loose ball.

With such Diamonds domination it looked only a matter of time before they would open the scoring, but as so happens in Football, it was the visitors who took the lead against the run of play. A move down the left saw Andy Yiadom pick up the ball, run into space and hit a 20 yard shot that gave Joe Day no chance.

Curtis Osano was rarely able to get too far forwards as he continued in a left-back role, but on one raid he was able to cut inside and hit a powerful right-foot shot that flew just over the bar.

Aaron O’Connor ran onto a poor backpass by Charlie Wassmer, but his angled shot was well saved by Preddie.

For a short period the game stagnated in midfield before the Diamonds resumed their dominance, although it looked like they might have to finish the half a goal behind. However, just as the game entered added time at the end of the half,  Aaron O’Connor picked up the ball on the left hand side of the area, broke to the by-line and squared the ball behind the covering defenders for Michael Gash to run onto and head home.

Half-Time Rushden & Diamonds 1 Hayes & Yeading Utd 1

Whereas the visitors had only the single chance in the first half, leading to their goal, they were able to generate several good chances in the second period, and came the closest to breaking the deadlock when Adam Green found space on the left hand side of the area and his header that met a Yiadom cross looked destined for the net, before Joe Day dived to make an excellent save. Although Bradley Pritchard was on hand to knock the loose ball into the net, he was flagged offside.

The visitors’ game-plan was clearly to disrupt play, with referee Ford having to want them about time wasting at throw-ins and goal kicks, and their trainer being called into action to treat players on several occasions before they were fit to resume.

Although Ryan Charles had battled to be fit enough to start the game, he was unable to complete more than an hour, and was replaced by Craig Farrell in a more central role, meaning the main Diamonds attacking avenue down the right was no longer producing the same threat.

Whereas the Diamonds had been offering a goal threat from every corner and freekick in the first half, they squandered several such opportunities in the second period, and a number of pre-rehearsed moves also failed to come off. Even the long throws of Justin Miller weren’t creating the threat they had done in the first period. Michael Gash had a headed chance that flew over the bar, and Gary Mills lashed a shot wide as keeper Preddie had few saves to make during the period.

The final chance of the game fell to Michael Gash as a 40 yard ball from Gary Mills from in front of the dugouts narrowly eluded his outstretched foot.

Full-Time Rushden & Diamonds 1 Hayes & Yeading Utd 1

With the problems due to illness as well as Ryan Charles struggling with fitness Justin Edinburgh will have to assess his squad before the visit of Forest Green Rovers on Tuesday evening.

Teams

Rushden & Diamonds: Joe Day, Justin Miller, Curtis Osano, Shane Huke, Eddie Oshodi (Michael Corcoran 65), Matt Johnson, Alan Power, Gary Mills, Aaron O’Connor (Capt), Michael Gash, Ryan Charles (Craig Farrell 57)

Subs Not Used: Simon Evans (GK), Max Porter, Nabil Shariff

Hayes & Yeading Utd: Delroy Preddie, Adam Green (Elliott Buchanan 78), Adam Bygrave (Lewis Ferrell 86), Peter Holmes (Capt), Jefferson Louis, Jamie Hand, Bradley Pritchard (Phil Appiah 82), Andy Yiadom, Charlie Wassmer, Lee Brown, Nathan Webb.

Subs Not Used: Lee Harrison (GK), Ben Wright

Goals: Yiadom (36, 0-1), Gash (45+1, 1-1)

Yellow Cards: Mills, Green, Huke

Referee: Mr D Ford

Attendance: 1129 (away 48)

Diamonds Man of The Match chosen by Fuelsell Fuels: Michael Gash

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