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Kingstonian 1-0 Rushden & Diamonds

Just three days after a full first team took on eighth placed Dagenham - and lost - a less than first team took to the field against second placed Rushden. The day started off somewhat bizarrely, with the players emerging from the Board Room, as opposed to the more usual tunnel. This, we're assured, is all due to the ongoing development and not a sign that the suits have taken over team affairs.

Mark Jones, who had had just one previous excursion in a K's shirt, started the match at left-back -somewhat to the chagrin of Luke "Good enough for the Trophy Final but not good enough for the Variety Cup Quarter-final" Basford presumably. Also included was Alex Dyer, recently of Notts County. Rushden brought along their first team, apart from the goalkeeper, and surprised all 190 present by starting with their big money purchases.

The first chance of the chilly evening fell to the visitors, but Gary Setchell - in for the suspended Duane "I hate Brett McNamara" Darby - couldn't quite connect with the cross from Justin Jackson and K's escaped. There was another good opening for Rushden, also missed by Jackson, but the draw of the tea-bar ensured that no note was taken.

Eleven minutes had passed when K's made the break through. Eddie Akuamoah - playing in place of Sammy Winston up-front - received the ball some 25 yards from goal after a good solid tackle from Gary Patterson. One touch took him to the edge of the area and the second saw his left-footed toe-poke beat Christian Rogers to give K's the lead. Now haven't we all been saying that Eddie should be played up-front more often?

The only other thing that happened in the rest of the half saw a good run from Pitcher allow Jones to cross from the left, only for Wingfield to head just wide. And so at half-time K's were winning. At home. Winning. And against Rushden too. Amazing.

The second half was really more of the same, yet somehow even less seemed to happen. Rushden were trying, but one got the impression that they might have tried somewhat harder had three points been at stake. Yet K's did play fairly well, keeping possession when they had it and breaking up the attacks of their more financially-able opponents.

Substitute David Bell may have had the best chance of the half, but he blasted a Jackson cross wide, whilst the number nine had himself a late chance, only for Kelly to save well for a corner.

K's did make chances of their own - most notably when Wingfield skinned Tarkan Mustafa on the K's left. His cross was competed for - and missed - by David Bass and Matthew Stonell, then Mark Boyce crossed from his side only for Eddie to shoot wide. Just afterwards Eddie almost set up Bass himself, but his cross was just missed by the midfielder's foot when any touch would have turned the ball over the line.

And so the game ended with a K's win. Which isn't exactly a surprise when you consider K's prowess at cup competitions. And the fact that it was over a Rushden first team should do the confidence little harm. Let's just hope that the confidence is well founded as we enter the critical Christmas period.

Tue 19th Dec 2000
Kingsmeadow Stadium
Bob Lord Trophy 3rd round
Rushden & Diamonds0
1Gavin Kelly
2Mark Boyce
3Mark Jones
4Derek Allan
5Eddie Saunders
6Alex Dyer
7Gary Patterson
8Geoff Pitcher
9David Bass
10Eddie Akuamoah
11Phil Wingfield
12Ronnie Green
13Adrian Blake
14Sammy Winston
15Colin Luckett
16Mark Harris
Man of the Match
Mark Jones
Mark Jones
Match Report By
Gary Ekins