Ravens View of Rushden v Brighton

Our mate Bradford Bill was in "The Bull" pub but quickly phoned us to tell us to avoid it and meet him in "The Horse Shoe Inn". Already in the pub were the Fatty Taxman, Jon plus quite a few other Albion fans watching the Arsenal match on a big screen.

Next we moved up to "The Oliver Twist" to keep the real ale brigade happy. We left about 7.30 and got into the ground just in time for the kick off. The away end gradually filled up and must have been near the 1,400 capacity.

I am not sure how many the ground holds, but the crowd was given as just over 4,600 and there didn't appear to be that many empty seats. The ground is quite neat and compact. The biggest stand was the one we were in behind the goal, the far end was a home terrace and then two small all seater stands down either side. The ground is all covered and the corners filled so gives a good atmosphere.

The match - well we lined up

Kuipers
Hinshelwood, Pethick, Butters, Mayo
Hart (Harding), Rehmen, Carpenter, Jones
Knight, McPhee

Rehmen sat quite deep in front of the back 4 and provided the link between defence and midfield. We started well and looked the better side.

McPhee had a goal ruled out for offside, after a great move and cross by Knight.

We then took the lead through the ever improving Butters. A corner came across, Butters had time to control a high ball before somehow knocking the ball in the net through about 5 players!

Pethick picked up a head injury early on but after treatment (for a cut?) was allowed back on.

Second half and R&D got Rodney Jack into the game (looks very similar player to Leon Knight) and he was giving our defence a stern test. Not long into the restart and Jack broke free, was challenged by Pethick and the Lino signalled for a penalty.

Now if it was in the area and was a foul why no red card? R&D converted the penalty and the game looked to be swinging in their favour. Just after the goal the 4th official called over the Ref and Coppell was sent off to the stand (for disputing the penalty?)!

Kuipers then pulled off a fantastic save tipping a header on to the bar and away to safety. Minutes later Knight was released down the left side, he controlled the ball perfectly, was running full speed and lashed in a shot into the roof of the net and was straight up to the away fans, shirt off and waved over his head.

R&D had by now bought on BUPA Paul Kitson. He got plenty of stick and this lasted most of the game. R&D pushed forward and the game was getting more tense.

McPhee missed hit a shot when he was well placed, but he kept going, first by making a great defensive tackle when we were under the cosh, then linked up with Rehmen with a delightful one two, and Rehmen curled the ball into the top corner.

That really knocked the stiffing out of R&D and the 3 points wrapped up. It was a shame that Harty got clattered when covering back and was carried off to the dressing room, another player out for Saturday (Cullip out for 2 weeks)

After the game is was back in the car, a bit of a delay due to a 3 car
collision just by the roundabout going back onto the A6 and I was back home
at 12.15.

Ratings

Kuipers - 8 pulled off yet another match winning save
Hinshelwood - 7 given a tough test by Jack
Mayo - 7 another solid disply
Butters - 8 another good display
Pethick - 8 linked in well with Butters
Jones - 7 got into the game towards the end and made a big difference, giving our defence a breather
Rehmen - 8 great game considering never even training with the team!
Carpenter - 7 solid battling display
Hart - 8 back to his committed never say die attitude
Knight - 9 I am glad he picked us!
McPhee - 7 never gave up an gave good support to Knight and set up the 3rd goal

Subs
Piercy -7

Not used Virgo, Robinson, Flitney & Harding
Mark R