Stolen from my Dictionary:
Dull (adj)- causing boredom; tedious; uninteresting.
Not a bad way to describe the ‘battle’ between Rushden and Peterborough on a wet Wednesday night, then? With Peterborough sending out a weaker side than promised, and with Justin Edinburgh still rotating both players and formations, half an hour in I was contemplating why I even bothered to turn up.
No shots. No fans. No atmosphere. Most importantly, no intent.
With Aaron O’Connor rested, Cliff Akurang filled in, whilst Neil Cousins and Rob Wolleaston returned to the squad. Although Darren Ferguson named his two latest Non-League recruits, Danny Mills and Romone McRae, it was still a fairly weak squad.
The first real chance of the half fell to the powerhouse Cliff Akurang, after Craig Farrell’s piledriver was only palmed away, but he only divertited harmlessly over, much to the frustration of the Rushden bench. At the other end, Simon Downer and Jamie Stuart found the threat of Mills easy to handle, although Dale Roberts was forced into a brilliant save to claw away Mills’ effort.
When the tempo finally rising, it was Rushden who looked more likely to score. After Farrell provided a brilliant flick-on, Cousins sent an effort towards James McKeowns’ near post, but the ball was cleared off the line by a Posh defender.
The second half began with some much required optimism for the Rushden fans, and Wolleaston ran onto a ball that was deflected off Akurangs’ proverbial, but as he tried to round McKeown the ball was smothered by the visiting goalkeeper. Soon after however, Rushden took a deserved lead. There seemed little danger as James Reid picked up the ball on the left flank, but after a brilliant interchange between the winger and Akurang, Reid slotted home with the outside of his boot.
Peterborough then started to get moving. Jamie Day drilled wide, the ineffective Mills saw an acrobatic attempt go just over, before Day’s corner hit the post. Any chances of a leveller were qualmed however, as a poorly placed pass from Reid went straight to McKeown. An easy clearance you would presume? Somehow, McKeown managed to miskick the ball, leaving Craig Farrell to slide the ball home.
The referee brought the game to a close, and Rushden had won again. But it is clear that they will have to put together much stronger performances if they are to challenge for a play-off place this term.