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Rushden 2, Spurs XI 4

Tomas Pekhart bagged a hat-trick as our Spurs XI side came from 2-0 down to beat Rushden and Diamonds 4-2 in Monday night's friendly at Nene Park.

Tomas Pekhart bagged a hat-trick as our Spurs XI side came from 2-0 down to beat Rushden and Diamonds 4-2 in Monday night's friendly at Nene Park.

The young Czech striker - on target for the first team in our first friendly in Spain last month - produced three clinical finishes as we completely turned the match around against the Blue Square Premier (Conference) side at Nene Park.

Indeed, victory looked a million miles away as we slipped to a 2-0 deficit inside six minutes - Clive Allen later described that start as 'appalling' - but crucially, Pekhart struck quickly after the second goal to settle things down.

That was a smart finish from Daniel Hutchins' pass for 2-1 and after the home side missed two or three golden opportunities to restore their two-goal lead, we took control.

The equaliser was a treat on 37 minutes. Following an exchange centrally between Taarabt and Kieran McKenna, the ball was played inside full-back Curtis Osano for David Hutton and the wide man clipped in the perfect cross, taking keeper Martyn Margarson out of the game and allowing Pekhart to head home.

It took less than a minute for us to forge ahead with Hutton once more the provider. Released again by Taarabt down the left, Hutton zipped in a low cross that left Gareth Jelleymanin a dilemma facing his own goal - the result, the ball in the top corner.

The home side still had time to force a smart save from Ben Alnwick and hit the woodwork via Michael Rankine in what was an all-action half.

Pekhart scores

Forced into an early switch when Ricardo Rocha limped off, Clive made three changes at the break with Alex Olsen, Takura Mtandari and David Button coming on for Paul Stalteri, Kieran McKenna and Ben Alnwick.

Pekhart's hat-trick goal arrived after 51 minutes and was the pick of the bunch, Taarabt playing in Olsen, a first-time cross and the striker burst between defenders to fire high into the net.

Lee Phillips missed a penalty soon after that and the game then became scrappy as substitutions entered the fray at regular intervals.

The final chances saw Osano drill just wide, Olsen lash wide and Margarson save well from Hutton.


Full-time: Rushden & Diamonds 2, Spurs XI 4

83mins: SAVE - MARGARSON. Dervite clearing header found its way through to Hutton, pace took him away from McGuinness and through on goal, left side, good hit blocked well by the home keeper.

78mins: CHANCE - SPURS. McDonald failed to deal with Dervite's long pass forward allowing Olsen a clear run at goal, tight angle and snatched at chance somewhat, hitting wide.

68mins: CLOSE - RUSHDEN. Osano burst into box, beat Dervite, flashed shot just wide.

55mins: PENALTY - RUSHDEN - MISSED. Harsh decision from referee adjudging Archibald-Henville to have climbed on Rankine, but it was immaterial as Phillips struck the spot kick wide.

51mins: GOAL - SPURS. Hat-trick for Pekhart. Taarabt played in Olsen down the right, good cross picked out Pekhart, charging between the two central defenders to bury into the roof of the net from eight yards.
Rushden & Diamonds 2, Spurs XI 4


Half-time: SUBS - SPURS XI. Olsen, Mtandari and Button for Stalteri, McKenna and Alnwick.

8.29pm: Players on their way back out.

Rushden friendly

Half-time: Rushden & Diamonds 2, Spurs XI 3

43mins: WOODWORK - RUSHDEN. Rankine got the wrong side of Hughton, tight angle but angled shot across Alnwick that cannoned back off the crossbar.

42mins: SAVE - ALNWICK. Burgess and McDonald played a one-two on the edge of the box, Burgess eventually striking from 12 yards, Alnwick saved with his legs.

38mins: GOAL - SPURS. An own goal from Jelleyman. Taarabt played in Hutton down the left again, he hit the byline and drilled in a cross that the home defender vollyed into his own top corner.
Rushden & Diamonds 2, Spurs XI 3

37mins: GOAL - SPURS. Great move. Interplay centrally between McKenna and Taarabt, the ball was played wide left to Hutton who clipped in the perfect cross to hand Pekhart the easiest of headers home from eight yards.
Rushden & Diamonds 2, Spurs XI 2

31mins: CHANCE - RUSHDEN. Alnwick missed punch from Burgess corner and ball fell to Rankine, 10 yards out, lashed over.

20mins: TREBLE CHANCE - RUSHDEN. Phillips shot well saved by Alnwick, Rankine on the follow up blocked superbly by Rocha before Roberts fired the final chance a yard wide.

13mins: CLOSE - SPURS. Hutchins beat Wolleaston, used Smith's support run to open up a bit of room and flashed 20-yarder just wide.

6mins: GOAL - SPURS. Hutchins turned away from Gulliver and threaded pass through to Pekhart who controlled and hit a low shot across Margarson into the far corner.
Rushden & Diamonds 2, Spurs XI 1

5mins: GOAL - RUSHDEN. Osano got down the right this time, cutback was completely missed by Phillips but the ball ran kindly for Burgess who finished well, curling a right-foot shot into the corner.
Rushden & Diamonds 2, Spurs XI 0

3mins: GOAL - RUSHDEN. Alnwick's punch from Burgess's corner fell to Phillips who drilled home from 10 yards.
Rushden & Diamonds 1, Spurs XI 0

2mins: CHANCE - RUSHDEN. Phillips dart down the right, squared for McDonald, six yards out, didn't connect properly and ball bobbled wide.


7.29pm: Teams on their way out.


Rushden & Diamonds: Margarson, Osano, Jelleyman (McDonald, 71), Gulliver, McDonald (Kelly, 63), Phillips (Smith, 63), Burgess (Corcoran, 60), Mitchell (McGuinness, 63), Rankine (Tomlin, 59), Wolleaston (Beecroft, 60), Roberts. Subs: Day.

Spurs XI: Alnwick (Button, 46), Stalteri (Olsen, 46), Hughton, McKenna (Mtandari, 46), Archibald-Henville, Rocha (Dervite, 27), Smith, Hutchins, Pekhart, Taarabt (O'Neil, 83), D Hutton.