Fiore grabs a point in moment of glory

Rushden & Diamonds

Rushden & Diamonds

Capone (8, 72)
Slough Town

Slough Town

Hercules (47), Fiore (90+1)
League Attendance: 1980 Unknown
A spectacular last minute equaliser from Mark Fiore brought Slough a point at bottom club Rushden and Diamonds. It was no more than Fiore and the Rebels deserved from an entertaining game that saw Slough come from behind twice after missing a first half penalty.

For the third consecutive Saturday manager Brian McDermott introduced a new face to the line-up, bringing in former Bristol Rovers. Wycombe Wanderers and Barnet defender Paul Hardyman at left back.

Slough started brightly with Gary Brazil's shot after seven minutes looping off a defender's leg and over the bar, and Hardyman blasting a shot wide a minute later.

But it was Rushden who took the lead after Andy Clement gave away a free kick inside his own half. From fully 35 yards out Julian Capone let fly an incredible drive that took a deflection and rocketed into the net, leaving Noel Imber without a chance.

And Rushden could have gone two ahead but for a tremendous save from Imber in the 27th minute. Hackett had worked his way loose on the left and curled in a beautiful shot that looked all set to squeeze inside the right-hand upright. But Imber at full stretch showed phenomenal reflexes as he turned it around the post.

Slough's penalty chance came in the 35th minute after Abbott had sent a looping ball over his head and into the box where Gary Brazil was waiting. As Brazil tried to meet it defender Jim Rodwell was climbing all over him and the referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot.

Clement's spot-kick was well struck and kept low, but Martin Davies guessed right and dived to his left to keep it out.

Just as they had done the week before, Slough came out fired up after the break - and this time it brought them a goal. Matt Crossley, on loan at Rushden from Wycombe, needlessly conceded a corner just two minutes into the half. Fiore looped the ball in and Cliff Hercules was there to head Slough level.

Both teams had chances to go ahead, with Imber making saves from Gary Butterworth and Carl Alford. while Hercules almost produced a repeat of his goal but sent his header over the bar.

Good work from Hackett on the left brought a second goal for Rushden in the 72nd minute. Hemmed in by the corner flag, Hackett fought his way past two defenders and ran along the byline before centring it for Capone to slide in and claim his second.

Slough pushed for an equaliser and brought on Lloyd Owusu for defender Steve Bateman with 15 minutes to go. But the Slough fans had to wait until a minute into stoppage time for the equaliser - and it was a goal worth waiting for.

Slough had won a corner which Fiore again took but the ball was cleared to Garry Smart, who pushed it back to Fiore wide on the left. Fiore danced his way past three defenders then hit a superb left-foot volley from the edge of the box high into the top of the net.

Rushden & Diamonds Lineup


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