Rushden & Diamonds 5 Bath City 1

 

Rushden & Diamonds overwhelmed Bath City 5-1 at Nene Park on Tuesday evening. With one of their best performances of the season they saw Michael Gash net four goals, with Ryan Charles adding the fifth goal.

The Diamonds scored four goals in the first half, including a Michael Gash hattrick. It was Gash who opened the scoring after 9 minutes when he headed home an Alan Power free kick. City equalised with a penalty, but Diamonds then retook the lead when Gash nodded home the rebound after a Max Porter header had been saved. Ryan Charles had created that goal, and he got his reward when scoring the third goal heading home a Justin Miller cross. Just before the break Gash got his hat-trick when he headed home a Ryan Charles cross from the left.

Michael Gash added his fourth goal, Diamonds fifth, midway through the second half when Craig Farrell found Aaron O’Connor who squared to allow Gash to sidefoot home.

Justin Edinburgh brought Ryan Charles back into the starting line-up after his recent injury with Paris Cowan-Hall absent due to illness. With Jamie Day also absent, Justin Miller started at right-back to allow Curtis Osano to play at right back.

Bath City manager made several changes to his team, and could only give striker Kaid Mohamed a place on the bench. He put recent loanee Charlie Clough straight into his starting line-up in defence.

The first action of the half should have seen the visitors take an early lead, as Lee Phillips picked up a loose ball when Shane Huke made what was to prove his only error in a very impressive performance. Rather than take the immediate shot on goal with his left foot that was on offer, Phillips tried to move the ball onto his right foot and the chance was spurned.

After eight minutes the Diamonds worked the ball down the right, and picked up a free kick when Alan Power was tripped. Power took the kick himself, and Michael Gash got the flick on the ball to help it into the far side of the goal.

The lead only lasted five minutes, as the visitors were awarded a penalty when Eddie Oshodi was penalised for handball when a shot from Scott Murray was blasted at him. Murray fired home the spot kick.

The Diamonds front three were causing City’s defence all kind of problems, and a Gash cross to O’Connor saw the Diamonds striker turn and shoot, but his shot bounced off keeper Robinson and was cleared away to safety. Ryan Charles then fired in an excellent cross that was met by Max Porter, but his header was saved by Robinson, only to bounce to Michael Gash who restored the Diamonds lead.

As half-time approached, the Diamonds got the vital third goal, and this time it was Ryan Charles who headed home a Justin Miller cross from the right.

There was still time for the Diamonds to score their fourth headed goal of the half, and it was Michael Gash who completed a first half hat-trick converting a Ryan Charles crossed from the left

Half-Time: Rushden & Diamonds 4 Bath City 1

With such a convincing lead at half-time it might have been easy for the Diamonds to sit back in the second half, but to their credit they continue to take the game to the visitors, spending the first ten minutes of the half camped in the final third of the pitch.

Although their finishing was not as clinical as it had been in the first period, there were chances for Aaron O’Connor when he sprinted clear of defence, Craig Farrell when his shot appeared to hit O’Connor, Eddie Oshodi who came close at a corner, and keeper Robinson made several good saves, notably from O’Connor and Porter.

Although the visitors did start to present an attacking threat when Kaid Mohamed joined the action, it was the Diamonds who scored the only goal of the half, with all of the front three involved. Substitute Craig Farrell pierced the City defence with a pass that see Aaron O’Connor free. He in turn broke to the left byline before unselfishly squaring for Michael Gash to slot home his fourth goal of the game.

There was still time for a goal-bound Aaron O’Connor shot to be sliced onto the angle of post and bar by Jim Rollo. Max Porter headed wide after substitute Matt Johnson combined on the right with Justin Miller for the impressive Miller to get in one of many excellent crosses the Diamonds had delivered during the game.

Full-Time: Rushden & Diamonds 5 Bath City 1

After such an impressive display the Diamonds will try to deliver something similar when they face Hayes & Yeading at Nene Park on Saturday.

Teams:

Rushden & Diamonds: Joe Day, Justin Miller, Curtis Osano, Shane Huke, Eddie Oshodi, Max Porter, Alan Power (Nabil Shariff 83), Gary Mills, Aaron O’Connor (Capt), Michael Gash (Matt Johnson 74), Ryan Charles (Craig Farrell 64)

Subs Not Used: Simon Evans (GK), Michael Corcoran

Bath City : Ryan Robinson, Sekani Simpson, Jim Rollo (Capt), Gethin Jones, Scott Murray (Kaid Mohamed 61), Marley Watkins, Adam Connolly, Marc Canham, Sido Jombati, Charlie Clough, Lee Phillips (Hector Mackie 77).

Subs Not Used: Leigh Henry, Callum Hart, Leon Jeanne.

Goals: Gash (9, 1-0), Murray (pen) (15, 1-1), Gash (26, 2-1), Charles (40, 3-1), Gash (44, 4-1), Gash (73, 5-1)

Yellow Cards: Rollo, Huke, Power, Oshodi

Referee: Mr John Busby (Oxon)

Attendance: 804 (away 53)

Diamonds Man of The Match: Michael Gash

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