Hardyman's goal wins the points at Nene Park

Rushden & Diamonds

Rushden & Diamonds

Slough Town

Slough Town

League Attendance: 2193 Paul Hardyman
Paul Hardyman's winning goal shocked Rushden & Diamonds as the Rebels left Nene Park with all three points.

Diamonds manager Brian Talbot introduced two new signings, Darren Bradshaw from Blackpool and Jamie Barnwell on loan from Cambridge United.

The first half was a fairly even game, with a few scrambles in the Slough goalmouth, ricochets off defenders, but not a great deal to trouble the keeper.

Smith coped well with anything thrown at him, the central defence of Diamonds looked adequate though Lloyd Owusu was the main threat for Slough with his pace and skill. He would prove to be a constant threat.

Rushden's Foster had a couple of half chances which were blocked, and it looked as though the first half would end up goal-less. But a collision on the edge of the box between two Diamonds players not looking where they were going let in Danny Bolt, who whipped a cross into the box. An initial block from Gary Abbott's shot fell to Hardyman who finished sweetly.

Slough keeper Paul Wilkerson was never put under any pressure of note, and Rushden made chances in an attempt to get back into the game, but to no avail. Slough looked much the better team, in defence and in attack. As the match wore on there was only going to be one winner and Diamonds deserved nothing from the game.

In the latter stages Slough could have wrapped the game up if they had not come up against an in-form Mark Smith who saved a twice-taken penalty after the Diamonds central defence upended Owusu after he had turned them inside out.

Rushden & Diamonds Lineup

Smith, Wooding, Cramman, Mison, Branston, Whyte, Kelly, Bradshaw, Foster, Collins, Underwood, Subs: Capone, Hackett, Jamie Barnwell.


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