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Rushden Report Part 2
By: Kevin Dolan
BOTH team started the 2nd half more aggressively and on 55 minutes the home side had a great chance to take the lead. The Mariners dangerous offside trap was eventually caught out by a straight ball over the top into Broughton, but he shot weakly straight at Mildenhall with a clear one-on-one.
This seemed to spark Town into life and the next five minutes was their only period of sustained pressure, culminating in the opening goal. With Town already in possession, the referee strangely awarded a free kick to them out on the left. In the slight confusion, Woodhouse quickly struck an enticing ball in behind the home defence. Futcher, arriving at the back post, easily won his header and planted the ball firmly into the corner of the net, giving the keeper no chance. 0-1
Despite the ascendancy The Mariners all too predictably retreated, and the game descended into the scrappiness of the first half until the home side scored a soft equalizer. A free kick over the top caught Town out again with Jackson collecting in the area. The Town defence appealed for offside without playing to the whistle, letting the substitute stroke the ball easily to the side of (the also appealing) Mildenhall. The Mariners swarmed to the linesman, who they felt had raised his flag and then put it down. The goal stood.1-1
The game swung massively and a revived Rushden sprang forward sensing the chance of victory. Their best chance fell minutes later to Jackson who seized on an underhit Croft pass to break through and produce a full length save out of Mildenhall.
The Mariners managed to hang on to the final whistle and then converged on the referee, still fuming about the equalizer, and Rob Jones received a straight red card for his comments.
Overall Town can have no complaints about the result, Rushden fully deserving their equaliser. The predictable 1-0 attitude happened again; and Rushden, without playing particularly well, created many more chances than the team 19 places above them and will probably feel disappointed at not going on to win the 3 points.
With Wycombe losing and the postponements for Carlisle and Northampton, Town would have gone top had they won; although the point was enough to put them back in the top 3, one point off the top.
From the first minute Town employed a high defensive line, which was never convincing and eventually punished. Against a team 2nd from bottom, The Mariners barely created a chance with none of the wingers making an impact. The Rushden defence dealt with the G Jones / Reddy formula very well, and Hatswell had an excellent game at centre back continually dealing with the hopeful balls over the top. None of the Grimsby side had a particularly impressive display, Rob Jones (until the red card) and Mildenhall probably the pick.
The â€˜1-0 and holdâ€™ philosophy is becoming a frustrating and dangerous plan.
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