Dean McDonald got off to a dream debut as his three goals helped Rushden on to a 7-0 win over hapless Halstead Town. Scott Mitchel also scored on his debut, while Lee Tomlin (2) and Michael Rankine completed the rout. Both Mitchel and McDonald were awarded for their efforts as they won the “Joint MOTM” award.
Above, a deflated HT played watches as Curtis Osano’S shot is deflected in for McDonald’s hatrick.
Nonetheless, McDonald was quick to downplay any ideas of prolific goalscoring being a regular occurence. “I believe my best position is playing off another striker ‘in the hole’. I’m not an out-and-out goalscorer and I don’t have great pace. But by being clever I can read situations and supply chances for my team-mates.”
Garry Hill was pleased with how the team as a whole played in their first competitive match together. “McDonald got a hat-trick but they all looked a threat pushing
forward, especially in the first half. It’s always pleasing to score goals and get a run-out. It was important for everyone to have 45 minutes and some had a bit longer.”
This time last term Rushden began their pre-season campaign with a 1-1 draw with Brackley Town. It says something of the transformation at NP since that, of the 19 players who played in that game, only 6 featured in yesterday’s game.
The game also featured a number of trialists. Justyn Roberts, Sagi Burton, and Gareth Jellyman all started the game.
The RDFC faithful received a scare when Andy Burgess – who, according to the OS, was “having a quiet game” – received a leg injury and had to leave the pitch. The extent of this injury is not known of yet.
Another dissapointment to the 50 or so RDFC fans who had made the trip – making up roughly 50% of the crowd – was the non-appearence of Daryl Clare. According to the man himself, he is not yet fully ready for a competitive game, but will become more and more able as the pre-season training continues. Even so, it meant that the RDFC fans could not try out their new songs, the best of which is a take on “Livin’ on a Prayer” by Bon Jovi:
Woooooooah, we’re half way there!
Wooooooooah, we’ve got Daryl Clare!
The football league; he’ll take us there!
Woooooooooah, we’ve got Daryl Clare…
A fan’s view on the evening: “All-in-all very good performance all round, defence and keeper didn’t have much to do but when they needed too they dealt with everything, going forward we looked very bright, Mitchell, Mcdonald, Tomlin and Phillips linked up very well for there first proper game together and a last note saying well done to the 40 or so who travelled there were alot more faces I recognised then I thought there would be.”
Next up for the Diamonds is a two-game trip to the Algarve, followed by an end-of-month Maunsell Cup game vs. Posh.