Rushden & Diamonds 4 Oldham Athletic 1

Last updated : 31 January 2004 By Footymad Previewer

Rushden gained what, in the end, was a comfortable victory in an exciting match at Nene Park which ended 4-1 against Oldham Athletic.

Rushden missed a golden opportunity to go ahead in the fourth minute when Paul Hall found himself free in the box but his effort flashed wide.

Oldham looked the better side in the opening stages and on nine minutes Paul Murray saw his speculative shot go just wide.

On 19 minutes, Ritchie Hanlon had his fierce shot tipped over the bar by Oldham keeper Leslie Pogliacomi.

Rushden took the lead in the 25th minute when Onandi Lowe headed on a long ball by debut man Leo Roget and Rodney Jack lobbed perfectly over Pogliacomi.

On 36 minutes, Rushden went further ahead after a horrendous error in the Oldham defence when Pogliacomi saw his clearance hit his own defender Will Haining and the ball dropped to Lowe who shot in the empty net.

On 42 minutes another mistake in defence by Haining almost let in Jack but the striker’s shot went just wide and a minute later Oldham were fortunate when Dean Holden headed against his own bar.

In the second half Oldham were playing with the wind and they stormed the Rushden goal from the beginning and got their just reward in the 55th minute when Jermaine Johnson, showing neat footwork, before he shot past Jamie Ashdown from 20 yards out.

Taking confidence from the goal Oldham almost equalised in the 64th minute when Adam Griffin produced a fine save at his near post by Ashdown.

Against the run of play, Rushden increased their lead when Andy Burgess picked up Ernie Cooksey's headed clearance on the edge of the area and he cleanly hit his shot past Pogliacomi.

Oldham had a good chance in the 85th minute when Holden crossed from the right but Gareth Owen, who was free in the box, headed over.

In the 88th minute Rushden put the result beyond doubt when Gary Mills found Lowe with his free-kick and the striker set up Hall to shoot past Pogliacomi from close range.