Rushden & D 1 Lincoln City 0

Last updated : 12 April 2003 By Footymad Previewer

Rushden & Diamonds made themselves almost certain of promotion with a hard-earned victory over a Lincoln side who are vying for a play-off place.

Rushden started the better of the two sides and Onandi Lowe went close in the fourth minute and was only denied by a fine block by Ben Futcher.

In the eighth minute Lowe saw his splendidly struck free kick go inches over.

Rushden took the lead in the 18th minute when Stuart Gray put in a fine pinpoint cross from the left and Lowe rose to head home from seven yards out past Andy Marriott.

On 29 minutes Marriott produced a fine save to deny Duane Darby after the striker's header looked goalbound.

After 37 minutes Lowe struck another superb free-kick but Marriott produced an excellent save.

Lincoln strove hard for an equaliser in the second half and they had an excellent chance in the 55th minute when Chris Cornelly's cross evaded all the oncoming forwards and they were unlucky minutes later when Futcher headed just over.

On 77 minutes Rushden had an excellent chance to seal the points but Marcus Bignot shot over when he probably should have squared the ball back for one of his forwards.

Marriott produced an excellent save in the 81st minute to deny Lowe after the striker had turned well in the area.

Despite spirited play from the visitors they were unable to break down the resolute Rushden defence with the commanding Barry Hunter in fine form and Billy Turley in the home goal was rarely called into serious action.

Rushden substitute Dean Holdsworth also had an excellent chance to wrap the game up but the veteran striker shot wide after he had created space for himself in the area.