Game 800 – 18 November 2006

Game 800

In the countdown to Diamonds 1000th first team game, we take a look at previous landmarks in the club’s history. We continue our review with a brief match report from Diamonds’ 800th game.

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Saturday 18 November 2006

(Nationwide) Conference

St.Albans City 3 Rushden & Diamonds 2

Clarence Park, St.Albans

Diamonds had suffered relegation at the end of the previous season and were trying to settle back into the Conference. Barry Hunter’s time as manager had ended, and he had been replaced by Paul Hart prior to the start of the season, but he had then been sacked after just 16 League games. Goalkeeping coach Tony Godden was now in charge as caretaker, and this was his seventh game in charge.

Both teams had suffered a poor start to the season, Diamonds in 20th position with 17points from 18 games, and St.Albans in 22nd with 16points from 19 games. Oxford United were top of the table, and appeared to be heading for a swift return to the Football League.

The game turned out to be memorable, but for the wrong reasons. It took just seven seconds for the home side to take the lead. As the ball was played forward from the kick-off, Paul Watson made a complete hash of his back pass to Scott Tynan, and Elliot Benyon nipped in to tap the ball home. Just two minutes later, Lee Clarke converted a Damian Batt cross as the defence remained motionless.

The poor start got worse on 12 minutes, as Benyon pounced after another defensive error and although Diamonds had their fair share of possession, they were unable to get the ball past Paul Bastock in the St.Albans goal.

Diamonds came out fighting in the second half, and Lee Tomlin converted a Marcus Kelly cross shortly after the restart. The goal seemed to give Diamonds hope, and they created chance after chance. Just after the hour, a goalmouth scramble saw Kelly get the final touch just in front of Michael Rankine.

Diamonds should have equalised in the closing moments when Tom Shaw rounded the keeper only to see his shot into the open goal strike the post and rebound to safety. The loss saw Diamonds slip into the relegation zone and within a month, Graham Westley was appointed as manager.

Team: Scott Tynan, Paul Watson (Daniel Chillingworth 90), Chris Hope, Wayne Hatswell, Dave Savage, Michael Rankine (Simeon Jackson 62), Marcus Kelly, Lee Tomlin, Tyrone Berry, Tom Shaw, Chris Plummer.

Goals: Elliot Benyon 1 (1-0), Lee Clarke 3 (2-0), Elliot Benyon 12 (3-0), Lee Tomlin 46 (3-1), Marcus Kelly 62 (3-2).

Attendance: 1236.

Statistics

P

W

D

L

F

A

Southern League

168

102

39

27

392

184

Conference

229

107

57

65

382

268

Football League

230

78

63

89

288

313

Football League P/off

3

1

1

1

5

6

FA Cup

53

28#

11

14*

93

56

FA Trophy

30

17

5

8

49

31

FA Vase

5

2

2

1

11

10

Football League Trophy

8

2

0

6

4

20

League Cup

(non League)

30

16

5

9

52

40

League Cup

(League)

7

2#

0

5

4

19

Hillier Senior

Cup

28

19

2

7*

70

29

Maunsell Cup

7

5#

0

2

10

11

Championship Shield

2

2#

0

0

5

2

Total

800

381

185

234

1365

989

(# = 1 game won on penalty kicks)

(* = 1 game lost on penalty kicks)

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