Game 600 – 28 December 2002

Game 600

Whilst on their way to winning the Division 3 title, Rushden & Diamonds passed the milestone of their 600th game.

oufc

Saturday 28 December 2002

(Nationwide) Football League Division Three

Rushden & Diamonds 0 Oxford United 2

Nene Park, Irthlingborough

After the disappointment of the Play-Off Final defeat in Cardiff the previous season, Diamonds had gone from strength to strength and were topping the Division Three table at Christmas on goal difference from Hartlepool United. Oxford were eight points adrift, back in 6th place.

Oxford had several players in their side who were later the play for Diamonds, including goalkeeper Andy Woodman, midfielder Dave Savage and striker, Jefferson Louis, who came on as a second half substitute.

The stats for the game speak for themselves – Diamonds 14 shots on target, no goals, Oxford 2 shots on target, 2 goals. The fact that the visitors kept a clean sheet was thanks to some fine keeping by Woodman as the U’s defence came under increasing pressure. Totally against the run of play, it was Dave Savage who scored the opening goal after 13 minutes, skipping past three defenders and firing past Billy Turley.

The goal gave Oxford the confidence to go forward, and they grabbed a second on the half hour when Dave Oldfield’s 25yard volley beat Turley.

Diamonds went on the attack in the second half but were unable to beat the Oxford defence. Woodman produced a fantastic point blank save to deny Onandi Lowe, but despite ending the game with some twenty attempts on goal and 16 corners, they were unable to put the ball in the back of the net.

Hartlepool’s 3-0 win at home to Cambridge United pushed Diamonds back into second place – a tussle which was to continue until the final game of the season which eventually saw both clubs promoted and the Division Three title head to Nene Park.

Team: Billy Turley, Paul Underwood, Barry Hunter, Mark Peters, Stuart Wardley, Duane Darby, Stuart Gray (Andy Burgess 74), Marcus Bignot, David Bell, Paul Hall, Onandi Lowe.

Goals: Dave Savage 13 (0-1), Dave Oldfield 30 (0-2).

Attendance: 4891.

Statistics

P

W

D

L

F

A

Southern League

168

102

39

27

392

184

Conference

210

103

52

55

360

240

Football League

70

32

21

17

103

75

Football League P/off

3

1

1

1

5

6

FA Cup

45

24

10

11*

83

45

FA Trophy

30

17

5

8

49

31

FA Vase

5

2

2

1

11

10

Football League Trophy

3

0

0

3

1

13

League Cup

(non League)

30

16

5

9

52

40

League Cup

(League)

4

2#

0

2

3

12

Hillier Senior

Cup

26

17

2

7*

66

27

Maunsell Cup

4

3

0

1

6

6

Championship Shield

2

2#

0

0

5

2

Total

600

321

137

142

1136

691

(# = 1 game won on penalty kicks)

(* = 1 game lost on penalty kicks)

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