Arlesey Town thoroughly deserved a point in a goalless draw at one of the fancied teams in Southern League on Saturday.
On a warm afternoon AFC Rushden & Diamonds pushed forward from the start playing down the slope.
The first real chance came on eight minutes when the excellent Callum Westwood cut in and hit a great shot that hit the bar and dropped invitingly for ex-Arlesey favourite Chris Dillon – but not only did he miss the target, he was also offside.
With quarter of an hour gone Hobden went down fairly easily from a challenge and the ref pointed to the spot for what Arlesey thought was a soft penalty. Nabil Shariff put the ball on the spot but fired wide of the post.
Arlesey countered with Taz Andrews firing just over the bar but generally Rushden pushed forward with the Blues defending well, Joe Steele being prominant in the heart of it with his new partner Hamilton Bunga.
Arlesey had a great chance when Bill Plumpton cut in and found Yemi Adelani but his first time shot hit the keeper’s hand and deflected wide.
The second period was much the same as Shariff turned well but fired past the post. On the counter Taylor Rhiney had a couple of efforts cleared and saved.
Rushden kept pressing but either their shooting was wayward or Bart and the defence kept things very tight and shots were blocked with some very good defending.
The referee added on eight minutes but Arlesey controlled things through to the final whistle.