Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List.
Nene Park, Diamond Way, NN9 5QF
Tuesday 31st July 7.30pm
RUSHDEN & DIAMONDS V SPURS XI
(All Red) (All White)
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
Tom Shaw 13 Lee Butcher
Martin Margarson 14 Kieran McKenna
(4) 46 mins
Alex Bolt 15 Jake Livermore
Jake Beecroft 16 Jonathan Obika
Lawrence Lambley 17 Andros Townsend
Tom Bonner 18
Paul Watson 19
Osano 19 Barnard 44, 47
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.
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