Solitary strike sinks Lambs
06 March 2010
Rushden got the match underway kicking towards their fans in the away end of the ground and an early tussle between Tait and Tomkin left the Diamonds man holding his back.
Inside the second minute Louis slapped the ball goalward from the right forcing Alcock into action to deny O'Connor with a double save from close range.
Shaw took a freekick on the left on 7 but Roberts collected easily, and on 9 a foul on the same Lambs player on 25 yards out saw Blackwood shoot low and wide of the mark.
A sliced kick from Alcock fell to Tomlin on 15 and he tried his luck with a right footed volley but cleared the goal by some distance with the effort, and pressure from The Lambs ended on 16 with a Chris Smith ball into the box which curled out of play.
Shaw clattered into Tomlin on 21 giving Diamonds a freekick on the right wing which he took himself and Alcock caught easily.
A through ball from Tomlin on 23 looking for O'Connor and when two Lambs defenders got in his way the referee awarded a freekick 22 yards from goal in a central position. Tomlin lined it up but again, Alcock was untroubled by the effort which he caught in his midriff.
Rushden won a corner on 29, the first of the game, and Louis took it from the left side only for Alcock to punch it out on the other side unhindered but a high boot from Rodman gave the visitors the ball back for another Tomlin freekick on the right wing.
Tomlin curled the ball into the area and Louis missed his header at the far post as the ball whipped out for a goalkick.
As the Lambs tried to work the ball forward, a push on Blackwood on the left set up Shaw and his freekick ricocheted out of play by the clubhouse.
The stop start nature of the game continued into the final ten minutes and Tait's deadball from inside his own half went straight through to Roberts reflecting how both sides were finding things difficult in the final third.
Tomlin then picked up a booking for feigning a foul on the halfway line and he continued protesting after the card was shown, causing the referee to get captain Corcoran involved to calm him down.
Louis did too much and too quickly for his own good on 43, taking the ball into the area at pace but was unable to stay on his feet as the ball ran out of play ahead of him then on 45, Pattison whipped a low ball into the area which all the attacking Rushden players missed before Tamworth cleared.
Two minutes added time was shown at the end of the half and when both Tait and Tomlin clattered inside The Lambs half, both players required treatment with none quick to move off the ground as the seconds ticked away but both came back on after a short respite before the half time whistle blew.
The Lambs kicked off the second half attacking the Meadow Street End but it was Rushden who won a corner on 48 and Tomlin's kick found the head of Louis which went harmlessly back to Alcock.
Then, Pritchard fed Christie who cut the ball goalward at and angle forcing a save from Roberts and then a clearance from Robinson to deny Lake-Gaskin's follow up. As the ball came back in Christie got a boot on the ball but diverted it wide at the far post much to his obvious annoyance.
Robinson had to leave the field for treatment after a clash on the edge of his own area on 53 but quickly returned to play and The Lambs went in search of an opening but found the visiting defence strong and the offside flag halting their progress.
Corcoran was booked for a late challenge on Pritchard on 57 while Louis placed a header at Alcock on 59 which he stopped with a regulation save.
Diamonds won a corner on the left by the tea hut on the hour mark which Alcock took again with apparent ease, at height.
Wylde took the ball down to the corner and won a flag kick on the left on 63 must to the consternation of the Rushden players who protested about the decision and from the corner Wylde glanced a header wide of the mark.
A superb ball by Blackwood out of his own half looking for Christie on the edge of the area found the Lambs front man on 66 as Roberts advanced towards him, but he was unable to control it as it fell and Rushden cleared the danger.
Tamworth won a corner from their pressure and Shaw got the ball back from a half clearance then found the head of Chris Smith at the far post, bur his header failed to trouble Roberts.
Tomlin was replaced by Sam Smith on 70, the first change of the game, and four minutes later Rodman made way for Sheridan.
Both sides continued to work hard to no avail with passes going astray until Max Porter squeezed a right footed shot through a crowded box to give the visitors the lead with 7 to go (0-1, 83 mins)
Mills brought Murdock into play in a bid to get something from the game and five minutes added time was shown.
In the third minute of added time Christie just couldn't get enough on a header in the 18 yard box to really test Roberts and with 21 players in the Rushden half Tamworth found their way through a difficult one. Rushden made on last break to the other end and won a corner in the final minute which turned into a freekick for Tamworth when Diamonds were unable to keep the ball as the final whistle blew.
Alcock, Tait, Blackwood, Smith C, Wylde, MacKenzie (Murdock 86), Rodman (Sheridan 74), Pritchard, Shaw, Lake-Gaskin, Christie
Subs: Lyttle, Briscoe, Smith JJ
Rushden and Diamonds Team:
Roberts, Osano, Robinson, Porter, Downer, O'Connor, Tomlin (Smith S 70), Corcoran, Pattison (Akurang 88), Byrne, Louis (Farrell 78)
Subs: Day, McDonald
Man of the Match: Chosen by DF Baxter Holdings: Michael Wylde
Referee: W. Barratt