Late goal sinks Boro
BORO lost ground in the title chase when they fell to a late sucker punch at Rushden on Saturday. And although there was little that Chris Day could do about Rob Wolleaston s stunning strike at the death it left the visitors to rue a game which they domin
BORO lost ground in the title chase when they fell to a late sucker punch at Rushden on Saturday.
And although there was little that Chris Day could do about Rob Wolleaston's stunning strike at the death it left the visitors to rue a game which they dominated for long periods but which they simply could not put to bed.
Eyebrows were raised as boss Graham Westley opted to leave Yemi Odubade on the bench, but with Chris Beardsley, Tim Sills and Mitchell Cole all showing aggressive intent it was Boro who took the game to Rushden.
The tone for the match was set as Boro penned back the home side without creating any clear cut chances of note.
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David Bridges did come close with an early effort when he blazed over following a corner while Beardsley danced through two challenges on his way to goal only to fizz an effort across 'keeper Dale Roberts on 16 minutes.
Beardsley was again in the right place on 25 minutes when he connected with a Jon Ashton cross but although it was all Boro they didn't look to have the killer instinct.
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A moment of comic confusion came on 40 minutes when Boro were awarded a free kick on the edge of the box after 'keeper Roberts had collected what was adjudged to have been a backpass.
In what was part of a pattern of disappointing dead ball kicks from the visitors Byrom hit the ball into the wall and the chance was squandered.
As the half came to a close Rushden fired a warning of what was to come as twice they threatened the Boro goal. Aaron O'Connor saw a shot deflected just wide with Day stranded while in added time Jefferson Louis charged through on goal and guided the ball just past the post.
The second half saw Boro begin to lose their grip on the clash as although chances were still at a premium, Diamonds appeared to cope easily with the attacking threat.
A change was called for and Westley duly obliged with the double substitution of Andy Drury and Yemi Odubade for Cole and Sills.
The switch did see Boro up their game but their chance to clinch it came and went with 15 minutes remaining when Bridges connected with an Odubade ball only to see the effort glance the post and go wide for a corner.
Boro were not going to make the breakthrough but few could have foreseen the heartbreak which was to come when with three minutes left Wolleaston connected 25 yards out following a corner and drove the ball home.
It was a goal which removed Boro from the top of the table and with crunch clashes now around the corner against the other big promotion contenders its full impact may become apparent.
Rushden & Diamonds: Roberts,Corcoran, Downer, Stuart, Robinson, Porter, Byrne, Terry, Farrell, O'Conner, Louis. Subs not used: Day, Osano.
Boro: Day 7, Ashton 7, Roberts 7, Bostwick 7, Laird 7, Long 8*, Byrom 8, Bridges 7, Cole 7 (Drury 65, 7), Beardsley 7 (Boylan 82), Sills 7 (Odubade 65, 7).
Subs not used: Bayes, Albrighton.
Referee: Richard West (Beverley).
Att: 1923 (419 away).