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Rushden Player Ratings

By: Rob Sedgwick
Date: 04/03/2006

GRIMSBY held on for a 1-1 draw at Rushden after going ahead through a Ben Ramsden goal. In the context of today's other results it was a point gained, especially as Town could have lost in the latter stages of the game.

GKMildenhallDidn't have much to do in the first half, but made a couple of vital saves after the break, especially the reaction save from close range to deny Jackson.8
LBNeweyPassing wasn't his strong point today but an overall solid performance7
RBMcDermottMacca was playing well until former Mariner Ronnie Bull ended his afternoon with a reckless challenge.7
CBR JonesCommanding in the first half especially, Jonah organised Town's back four imperiously and Town edged a dull first 45 minutes. Allowed himself to get upset by the decision not to disallow the Rushden goal, which was pointless. His arguing with the officials after the final whistle was as futile as trying to awaken the dead, and earned him a red card and a three match ban. Hopefully a big fine too!6
CBFutcherHad Town's best two chances. In the first minute Futch was so amazed to burst clear in front of goal that his resulting snatched shot was tame and easily blocked, although there was a suspicion of handball. Big Futch's second chance was Town's goal, a free header from a dubious free kick, which was well taken. Generally sound defensive performance.7
LWTonerIt says a lot that Toner was selected on the left wing, ahead of two players on the bench for whom it is their natural position. Although not as effective as when he plays across the middle Toner made some good passes today and was unlucky to be taken off, but Slade only ever replaces like for like so he had to go.7
CMWoodhouseThe best player on the pitch today. Woodhouse has the quality to allow him to spend a extra second's thinking time when he has the ball, and consequently was at the heart of Town's best moves. Also made some excellent defensive clearances on the edge of the box, and some useful deliveries from set pieces including the free kick which led to the goal
CMBollandA typical battling performance in the heart of midfield.7
RMCohenA quiet game compared to Cohen's recent performances, although he did look dangerous on the rare occasions he did something.6
FCG JonesDidn't look at all threatening today, although he seemed to be involved in the game a lot. The most comical moment of the game was when Jones burst through clear on goal and the defence caught him up after about one yard. Also got booked for thrusting the ball in the referee's hands.6
FCReddyA quiet game by his standards. Didn't really get the service and only showed flashes of skill.6
SubCroftCame on for the unfortunate Macca and generally sound although a dodgy backpass almost led to a goal.6
SubGoodfellowA polite way of putting it is that he looked like someone who has just come back from injury. Constantly gave the ball away and Town seemed to be frequently exposed on the left hand side after Goodfellow came on.5
SubParkinsonNot on for long enough to have much effect.6

Match Rating5A poor game until Rushden's equaliser.
Crowd Rating5Town's 700 fans made as little atmosphere as any away game I've been to this season. There's more noise at some home games. Mind you there was little to get excited about.
Ref Watch5Some poor decisions, but the worst part was the constant stoppages to what was already a poor game. Many Town fans thought Bull should have seen red, but my instant reaction was to agree with the yellow card he dished out. The sending off of Rob Jones summed up his seeming desire to be the centre of attention.

Assessment: A point away from home is always a good result. Rushden have won their last three home games so on paper it's not a bad return, regardless of their position in the league. Yes we could have been more adventurous when we were 1-0 up but it's easy to say that in retrospect. The most worrying thing of all is the continuation of the general unconvincing form which started around the turn of the year - and we had the first choice XI more or less today. Rob Jones will also be missing for the next three games; fortunately Whittle should be back next weekend and is a ready replacement.

Ground Rating. Nene Park is a good ground but it's too far and too difficult to get to from the nearest train station. You do get the feeling that, like Milton Keynes, Rushden is not a "proper" football club and their days are therefore numbered. What other team play in a village without any dedicated transport links?

What the home fans said:
"I was disappointed with Grimsby, I thought they were meant to be a good football side."
"They're very direct aren't they?"
"They're the sort of side that are difficult to play against."
"We were pleased to get a point against a side third [sic] in the table."
"I thought we'd lost once they scored".

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