An uninspiring and plain headline for what, apparently, was an uninspriring and plan game of football. Dean McDonald scored in the first half, whilst Michael Rankine (superstar) scored not long before the end to send the Diamonds through to the next round. Joe Day started in goal, the 300th ever player to appear in an official first-team match for RDFC, whilst Jami McGuinness made his first competitive start.
A good summary, from a member of the Rushden forum: “Last night was an opportunity for the fringe players to turn in a great performance against lower league opposition and show GH what they’re capable of. Unfortunately none of them did this. I don’t think anyone played badly, they all did OK, but I was expecting at least one from Corcoran, Gulliver, Roberts, Kelly, McDonald or Rankine to step up to the plate and give Hill a bit of a selection headache ahead of the Burton game. McDonald was probably the pick of that bunch IMO, but he wasn’t brilliant. Smith and Beeky are still not ready to hold down a starting place in the side, and need to continue making substitute appearances to gain more first team experience. This is going to be difficult for Smith though, given that he has several good strikers (and Rankine!) ahead of him.
The biggest positive from last night was Lewis Hilliard who I thought did very well when he came on, and also George Cox who held is own. It was just a shame we didn’t get a chance to see Lewis Hallford running at the Rothwell defence, the first time he got the ball he skipped past one player but his run got cut short by the final whistle.”