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Rushden & Diamonds 2 Harriers 1

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Date: 28-12-09gif Venue: Nene Parkgif att: 1425gif away fans: 206
Was that too much turkey?

gifReport by Philip Lench
The Christmas turkey finally kicked in today with a far from exciting performance from the Harriers at Rushden.  With the same starting eleven as against Chester two days ago the caretaker manager, John Finnigan, was hoping that the same kind of result could be achieved.  Sadly that was never going to be and as on Saturday, when we looked bereft of ideas in front of goal, today we looked equally bereft in any position on the pitch.

With a very cold feeling to the game, under some very poor floodlights, the game kicked off and for the first ten minutes both sides seemed to have little clue what they were there for.  The passing was wayward and what action there was seemed to be very half hearted.  The highly thought of (by Rushden fans) Lee Tomlin tried a speculative shot from twenty yards that didn't trouble Dean Coleman and in return Aaron Farrell saw a similar effort that Dale Roberts treated likewise.

On fifteen minutes came the opening goal for the hosts.  A long ball over the top found our defenders caught out and exposed with Coleman having to rush out of the area to reach the ball before Tomlin did.  A crucial mis-judgment saw Coleman handling the ball just slightly on the wrong side of the line and as he tried to push it way from him back into the area Tomlin rounded him and poked the ball into the net.

The linesman had already flagged for the offence committed by Coleman and that would have resulted in Coleman being sent off, and a free kick given, but the referee allowed the goal to stand and then did not book Coleman or send him off.

The remainder of the half we looked shell shocked and couldn't seem to raise much of an effort.  Aaron Farrell was again well out of his depth was running around like the proverbial headless turkey.  The rest of them looked as if they too had come from the same coop.

Gavin Caines went off for treatment to his ankle following a clash with Tomlin and when he returned he was still visibly feeling the effects of the tackle.  Even in the second half he seemed to be struggling still.

The half ended with no real further action from either side and they went back to the dressing rooms for a warm.  We had to stay out in the cold.
  HT: 1 - 0
At the start of the second half Damian Spencer came on for Farrell in an attempt to give us a bit more muscle up front but to be honest although he lumbers around a lot he's still not the answer to our goal scoring problems.  One day he might actually jump for a ball too.

He did set up Dean Bennett with a chance early in the half but Deano wasted the opportunity by shooting weakly and also the wrong side of the upright.

Rushden made their first change of the game when Rob Wolleaston replaced Max Porter after he had picked up a knock five minutes earlier.  That change was followed two minutes later by Tomlins' second goal of the day and it was a strike that no keeper on this planet would have saved.

He collected the ball on the edge of the area and flicked it from one foot to the other before unleashing an un-stoppable volley into the top of Colemans net.  You may not like the bloke but he's obviously a talented player if only he could stop being an idiot.  He proved that minutes later when he stupidly kicked the ball away and got himself booked.

For ten minutes nothing much happened from either side and it seemed that Rushden were happy just to knock the ball around and we were incapable of still not being able to create anything of any worth.  That all changed suddenly when out of the blue we managed to score.

Martin Riley collected the ball in the middle of the park and drove through towards goal.  With his back to goal Rob Matthews accepted the pass and swiveled to fire the ball beyond the grasp of Roberts.  That goal seemed to give us some inspiration and for the next ten minutes we looked a different outfit with some excellent passing and a real threat in front of goal for the first time in the game.

First we had a free kick on the edge of the area that Darryl Knights sent into the wall only to see it rebound away to safety and then Chris McPhee sent over a cross that Roberts only just managed to push away for a corner.  Our last chance came when we should really have scored from it and pulled the game level.

Brian Smikle collected the ball out wide and then moved into the area with it.  With no Rushden defenders near enough to stop him he could so easily have fired the ball goalwards and scored but for some inexplicable reason he chose to pass it to Dean Bennett who fired weakly towards goal and the excellent chance was gone.

After that we again lost heart and the game meandered into the closing minutes without any further action and the crowd went home without a peep coming from their very cold lips.
  FT: 2 - 1

 Goals for Rushden: Tomlin 15,57
 Goal for Harriers: Matthews 68


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Rushden & Diamonds  subs   cards      Harriers  subs   cards 
Roberts     Coleman  
Osano     Courtney  
Robinson     Andrew  
Porter gif     McPhee  
Stuart     Caines  
Downer     Riley  
O'Connor     Smikle  
Terry   Bennett  
C Farrell     A Farrell gif  
Tomlin gif   Knights  
Byrne     Matthews  
SUBS:       SUBS:    
Day     Singh  
Wolleaston gif     Hayward  
Akurang     Dolman  
Louis gif     Baker  
McNamara     Spencer gif  

REFEREE:
Mr J Adcock
Nottinghamshire





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