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Rushden 3 Town 1

By: Rob Sedgwick
Date: 01/11/2003

A sporting phenomenon as familiar as an England mid-order batting collapse unfolded in deepest Northamptonshire this afternoon. Town managed to throw away a game they were leading 1-0 and looked reasonably comfortable in, eventually ending up going down 3-1.

Darren Barnard and Tony Crane were both missing from the Town defence, meaning a start at left back for Jason Crowe, and Greg Young lined up alongside Mike Edwards in central defence. Otherwise the team was the same as played at Barnsley on Saturday.

Town started brightly and took the lead through a Iain Anderson 25-yard blast which looked like it took a deflection as it sped through the Rushden penalty area. Immediately afterwards Grimsby almost added a second when an Iain Anderson volley from a free kick was tipped round the post by the Rushden 'keeper.

Grimsby if anything upped the tempo early in the second half and had several chances to put the match beyond doubt as they looked to finish the game off.

Rushden levelled the scores against the run of play when a shot by substitute Paul Kitson fell to Onandi Lowe. The Nigerian striker then added a second after Town gave the ball away in one of their own attacks, this time being set up by Kitson.

Phil Jevons made a belated appearance as a Town substitute after over a year in the wilderness, as Paul Groves pushed three up front for the last few minutes of the game, with Iain Anderson making way for the former Evertonian.

Grimsby had two great chances to level the game when John McDermott managed to hit the bar after he looked certain to score, and Jason Crowe almost scored a brilliant individual goal, but blasted the ball just wide of the post having done all the hard work.

Ritchie Hanlon sealed the points for Diamonds with a third goal deep into injury time.

Once again Town allowed a one goal lead to slip although they can count themselves extremely unlucky not to have taken at least a point from the game. At least, unlike previous games when they have lost having been ahead, Town this time did not try to defend a one goal lead - the introduction of Paul Kitson was probably the single factor which changed the course of the game.

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