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Rushden & Diamonds v Spurs XI, 31.07.07

Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List
[e-mail Ray Lo]


      Pre-season friendly 
  Nene Park, Diamond Way, NN9 5QF
    Tuesday 31st July 7.30pm
 
RUSHDEN & DIAMONDS  V  SPURS XI
     (All Red)        (All White)
       4-4-2            4-4-2
 
        3(1)            2(1)

       Paul Bastock 1 Tommy Forecast
       Curtis Osano 2 Cian Hughton
     Wayne Hatswell 3 Charlie Daniels
      Phil Gulliver 4 Danny Murphy
      Chris Hope(C) 5 Leigh Mills (C)
      Martin Foster 6 Chris Riley
      Jon Challinor 7 Teemu Tainio
   Curtis Woodhouse 8 Jamie O’Hara
    Michael Rankine 9 Lee Barnard
             James 10 Andy Barcham
       Dean Howell 11 Jacques Maghoma
 
        Lee Tomlin 12 Callum Butler
        (11)56Mins    (6)71Mins.
          Tom Shaw 13 Lee Butcher
         (8)71Mins.
  Martin Margarson 14 Kieran McKenna
                      (4) 46 mins
         Alex Bolt 15 Jake Livermore
                      (7)68Mins.
     Jake Beecroft 16 Jonathan Obika
  Lawrence Lambley 17 Andros Townsend 
         (6)56Mins.
        Tom Bonner 18
        (19)88Mins.
       Paul Watson 19
         (4)56Mins.
  
Scorers:-
        Osano 19       Barnard 44, 47
       Tomlin 63
     Challinor67                                                               
Attendance:- 3860

Referee:- D.Gallagher
Assistants:- A.Tonks, S.Cheney, P.Spink

It was a warm evening which cooled as it got dark. The crowd included close on a thousand Spurs supporters including some displaying a “Rushden Spurs” flag. This with the home fans in buoyant mood for what to them was a serious match added atmosphere to the evening's proceedings.

Spurs lined up with Mills and Riley at the back with Hughton on the right and Daniels on the left. In front of them was Murphy and O’Hara with Tainio on the right and Maghoma on the left, although they moved around switching positions. Barcham partnered Barnard up front.

Spurs kicked off attacking the home supporters end and were the first to threaten goal when Barcham headed over. This was followed shortly after with Woodhouse bringing a save from Forecast at the expense of a corner. Tommy did better with a shot from Challinor later.

The home side scored first when Osano picked up a long pass from Woodhouse, turned inside and beat Forecast with an angled drive. Generally the Rushden players were bigger than the Spurs players, and used that against the visitors at every opportunity with Rankine impersonating Fashanu using elbows, and one time had his hand on the throat of Mills. This enabled Rushden to have the better of the play for most of the half, and they came close to increasing that lead when a free kick by Woodhouse from the edge of the area was pushed onto the crossbar by Forecast before Mills hacked it clear.

The better passing of the Spurs players saw them begin to gain ground late in the half with a Maghoma effort saved and Tainio’s follow up shot also saved. Just before the break, good work by our midfield ended with a cross from the right which was not cleared allowing Barnard to control it on his chest before hitting the ball waist high on the turn to crash it past Bastock.

Clive Allen replaced Murphy with McKenna for the second half and he took up a more defensive position in front of the back four. It took just a minute after the restart for Spurs to take the lead when Daniels over-lapped down the left, received the ball and went to the line before crossing. The defenders failed to clear giving Barnard the chance to steal in and beat the keeper with a low drive.

The quick passing and movement from Spurs were causing the home side problems even with the heavy challenges they put in so Gary Hall made a triple change but even this did not dampen the young Spurs game. Bastock had to make saves from Barcham, Barnard and O’Hara in the space of three minutes with another O’Hara effort going wide.

It all changed with a long ball headed on by Rankine for Tomlin to run on to shoot under Forecast. This was followed a few minutes later with another long ball from Osano which found Challinor behind the defence who also slid his shot under the keeper.

Daniels put another cross into the box for Barnard to net but a flag ruled out the effort. Clive replaced Riley with young Callum Butcher and Tainio came off to be replaced by Livermore. In the dying minutes O’Hara shot over and Tomkin fired wide when in the clear. The final whistle was greeted by rapturous cheering from the home fans and the players waved their arms and congratulating themselves as if it was a Cup Final.

This was a hard fought game with a number of players receiving knocks for their trouble. Murphy and Tainio had a good workout and the rest a good test for the coming season. The introduction of McKenna saw the tempo increase as the rest of the midfield looked to create opening and got forward to support the attack. Daniels made more runs than in the first half and but for some good goalkeeping we could have had more goals to show for the night. The Reserves have one more game before the start of their league programme, which is at Grays Athletic next Tuesday.

Ray

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