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.