It wasn't the best Harriers performance ever seen but it also wasn't the worst either. It was quite possibly the worst Rushden side that I have ever seen though.
We did enough to get all three points after Justin Richards put away his second penalty in seven days and we should really have gone on to put the game out of sight by the end of the first half. In the second half we seemed to lose our way slightly - a lot - and a better side than Rushden would have punished us.
With the Harriers fans in extremely good voice once more we kicked off without any changes to the starting eleven from the Cambridge game. Luke Jones, returning from a three match ban, was on the bench.
Mark Creighton had won the toss and elected to play towards the Harriers fans in the first half and so forcing Rushden to play into the low sun that was setting behind the sparsely populated home terrace.
Richards could have put the Harriers a goal up within the first minute of the game when he had a shot blocked by the Rushden centre half Chris Hope. He could also have gone on to score a hat trick within the next five minutes but poor finishing and some half decent goalkeeping from Dale Roberts was spoiling all the good build up play.
Rushdens only attempt at scoring came from Michael Corcoran when he headed over and Darryl Clare spent more time on his bum than trying to score.
The goal came when Brian Smikle tried to cross the ball from the edge of the area while only a few feet from Curtis Osano. The ball struck his hand and the referee immediately pointed to the penalty spot. It was a bit of a harsh decision because Osano couldn't really avoid the ball hitting him but we're not going to turn away a chance of a goal are we? It happens to us enough.
Justin stepped up to take it and calmly waited while the ref readied himself and then, with Roberts dancing on the line trying to put him off, he coolly placed the ball just inside the left hand post and then wheeled away to celebrate.
That was about the last action of the half and five minutes later both teams trooped off with the Harriers looking more confident and good value for their slender lead.