harriers-online match report
Vs rushden & diamonds 
Diamond robbery

We crashed to our first defeat of the year today in a game that had all the makings of a smash and grab robbery by the Diamonds.  All it took was two shots on goal and they made their getaway with all three points in their swag bag.

We didn't really make it hard for them though.  Poor defending and weak attacking are not the way to win games.

Adie Smith Right from the kick off we looked second best and lacking match fitness.  That's not too surprising since the team hadn't played a game since the end of last year and looked rusty.

We started the game with Adie Smith back from injury and sitting on the bench along with new signing John Hodge.  The two players doubtful before the game, Dean Bennett and JJ Melligan, both passed fitness tests and made the starting line-up.

Rushden were the first to create a chance on seven minutes when Onandi Lowe easily out jumped Lee Ayres to head the ball onto the cross bar.

After that there wasn't much else to write home about until Rushden opened the scoring when, with Lowe looking offside and Ayres looking at the linesman, Paul Hall collected the ball from his team mate to rifle his shot across Stuart Brock into the far corner of the net.

It could have been two for the visitors on 30 minutes when David Bell sent Lowe clear but he could only put his shot into the side netting after coming under pressure from Kenny Coleman.

With half-time approaching the Harriers seemed to wake up and Dean Bennett did well to get himself in behind the Rushden defence and pass the ball to Bo Henriksen.  The chance went begging though when the pony tailed one slipped on the wet surface and his scuffed shot went wide.

Minutes later Andy Bishop went close for us but he dragged his shot inches wide of the goal.

The last chance before half-time fell to Dean Bennett but his 15yd effort was blocked on the line by Stuart Gray with Billy Turley grabbing hold of the rebound.

HT. 0 - 1

The second half started with all the Harriers guns blazing and Rushden had the on form Billy Turley to thank as he kept out the Red Army with a series of stunning saves.

First he made a terrific close range save from Bo Henriksen after Andy Bishop had beaten the defender to the bye-line and put in a superb cross.  It was Bo again a minute later who saw his header beaten away for a corner when Turley seemingly came from nowhere to push the ball around the post.

Turley then had to be alert to push away a glancing header from Melligan on the hour from Sam Shilton's cross.

We knew that we wouldn't be able to keep this pace up and it wasn't too long before Rushden found a chance to calm things down a bit.  And it was a lesson that we should learn from.

How many times do we get a free kick or a corner awarded to us in a dangerous area and try and take it as quickly as we can.  99 times out of the hundred we're not ready for it and the chance to make some use of it is wasted.

Rushden had a free kick given to them on the edge of the area and they took their time over it.  The dividend came with Lowe taking his time, the wall started to get pulled apart and he took it.
Ian Britton His fierce kick was dropped by Brockie and there was Paul Hall waiting to put it into the net.

After that we lost all confidence and Rushden were content to keep their two goal lead.  It seemed that even Ian Britton had lost confidence too when he sent on Ian Foster in place of Dean Bennett.

With the crowd already feeling down they weren't going to be inspired by a player who has failed to perform in previous appearances.  We were hoping to see Adie come on to toughen up the defence and John Hodge to give us something more out wide.

We did almost pull a goal back when Bo saw his chance cleared off the line by ex-Harrier Marcus Bignot but apart from that there was nothing more.

FT. 0 - 2

The Harriers-Online
Man of the Match is : 
Sam Shilton

and I wasn't convinced with that choice.  The team as a whole were a disappointment.

Best for them:  Billy Turley.  I agree that he makes the odd mistake but today he was superb.  The best keeper in this division.

vote for your
man of the match now

Harriers  subs   cards      Rushden  subs   cards 
Brock     Turley  
Coleman     Bignot  
Ayres     Underwood  
Williams     Peters  
Hinton     Wardley  
Flynn     Hunter  
Henriksen     Gray  
Bennett     Hall  
Bishop     Darby  
Henriksen     Lowe
Shilton     Bell  
SUBS:       SUBS:    
Danby     Setchell  
Smith     Sambrook  
Foster     Duffy
Hodge     Talbot  
Doyle     Dempster  

Mr A Butler

links to some
rushden websites:

official site
the diamonds fc.info
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