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Rushden Preview

By: Richard Hubbert
Date: 15/04/2004

TOWN welcome Rushden and Diamonds to Blundell Park for the very first time, but at a time when the Mariners are staring a second successive relegation in the face. Anything less than a win for Town would surely seal their place in the Third Division next season.

Home > 2003-2004 Season > Previews > Rushden (h)

Some may think that Town are down, but when you look at the league table, it shows we still have a chance. We meet the only team who are in worse form than ourselves. Therefore a defeat would surely send us down, though a win could see us out of the drop zone. The fans need to get behind the players, but the players need to deliver more than ever this season.

The Opposition

Barry Hunter. The Irish 6 foot 3’ centre half took over from Brian Talbot, who joined Oldham Athletic at the start of March, at a similar time when Nicky Law took over here. Hunter has not had an easy passage so far in his management career, with just one win in seven games, form that has seen Rushden into the relegation dogfight at the foot of the division. However, Hunter is confident that his side can fight their way out of trouble, as demonstrated by their creditable 0-0 draw at Brighton on Monday.

The Team
With one of the smallest squads in the Division, Rushden rely heavily on some of their most experiences players. Having lost Paul Hall and Onandi Lowe on transfer deadline day, more responsibility has been placed on the shoulders of the likes of Rodney Jack (left), Billy Turley, Barry Hunter himself and Leo Roget. Jack signed for Diamonds in the summer on a free from Crewe, whilst Roget joined the Nean Park side from Brentford only this season. In recent weeks, through injuries to key members of his squad, Hunter has been forced to blood some youngsters. Amongst those has been Marcus Kelly, a midfielder who made his first league start at Brighton. Similarly Richard Duffy, a 21 year old Welsh forward has been involved of late, partnering Rodney Jack in attack.

Recent Form


WSheff Wed(h)2-0
Currently 22nd in Division 2.
Currently 17th in Division 2.

Top Scorers


Lowe15 (now Coventry)

Team News



  • The Mariner will be hoping that striker Isiah Rankin will be fit enough to return for the game, after missing the last two through a thigh strain.

  • Less likely to return are Darren Barnard and Craig Armstrong who also have thigh injuries. This means that Simon Ford and Jason Crowe will continue in the full back positions

  • Stuart Campbell is also doubtful with calf injury and probably will not be in the squad.

  • Darren Mansaram will return after serving his two match ban and could start with Isiah Rankin in attack.
  • Player/manager Barry Hunter continues to face injury problems with three key players once again ruled out. David Bell is out with a groin strain, the experienced Dave Kitson is sidelined with a toe injury, whilst Gary Mills will also sit out with ankle ligament damage.

  • Defender John Dempster is also out, he serves a one match ban for his red card at Stockport a few weeks ago.
  • Probable Teams


    Alan Fettis
    Jason Crowe
    Simon Ford
    Tony Crane
    Mike Edwards
    Iain Anderson
    Phil Jevons
    Chris Bolder
    Stacy Coldicott
    Isiah Rankin
    Darren Mansaram
    Billy Turley
    Andrew Sambrook
    Leo Roget
    Barry Hunter
    Andy Edwards
    Marcus Kelly
    Ritchie Hanlon
    Stuart Gray
    Andy Burgess
    Richard Duffy
    Rodney Jack



    Mickael Antoine Curier
    Paul Warhurst
    Jonny Rowan
    Graham Hockless
    Wes Parker
    Stephen Gahan
    David Bell jnr
    Magnus Okuonghae
    Owen Story
    Eric Manangu

    Last Time Out

    Town met Rushden and Diamonds for the first time both clubs history back in November, where down went down 3-1 after leading for a long spell in the match. An Iain Anderson goal in the first half saw Town take the lead, until two goals from Onandi Lowe and another from Ritchie Hanlon secured all three points for the Diamonds. However, Town so very nearly snatched a draw. Jason Crowe missed a one on one opportunity, whilst skipper John McDermott struck the crossbar, just moments before Hanlon’s last minute goals sealed the points.

    Town Team: Davison, McDermott, Edwards, Young, Crowe, Cas, Campbell, Hamilton, Anderson (Jevons, 77), Boulding, Onuora
    Subs: (not used) Pettinger, Wheeler, Groves, Soames

    Rushden Team: Evans (GK), Bignot, Edwards, Hunter, Underwood, Hall, Mills, Burgess, Gray (Kitson, 61), Jack, Lowe (Hanlon, 79) Subs: (not used) Dempster, Sambrook, Talbot

    Attendance: 4,185    Report

    Rushden Head-to-Head (not on The Opposition Ladder).


    Fishy prediction: My heart tells me 1-0 to Town, though my head is not so positive. But this week, I’ll go with what my heart tells me, and hope! Reader's POMs


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