Bristol Rovers 3 Rushden & Diamonds 0

Bristol Rovers secured their first win in six meetings with Rushden since Diamonds came into the league in 2001 and the only surprise was that the margin of victory was not even bigger.

Rushden have been hauling themselves out of trouble but all the old failings were back as Rovers, the under-achievers of League Two took complete charge.

Their initial breakthrough came midway through the first half when Richard Walker picked up a ricochet off a Rushden player just over the halfway line.

He raced in on goal and steered his shot home off the inside of Scott Shearer's left post.

If that was bad luck for Rushden, fortune had been with them earlier when Rovers' top scorer Junior Agogo opened them up with a ball knocked out to Ryan Williams on the left.

Tracked by Rob Gier, Williams won a corner off him and then dropped his flag kick into the six-yard box.

Walker and John Anderson headed against post and bar as confusion ruled Rushden's defence.

Playing at last with a winger paid a handsome dividend for Rovers as Williams and Agogo worked up a useful understanding.

A second goal always looked likely and it so nearly came when Walker fastened onto a ball from Agogo.

He nipped around a defender but Shearer denied him with a great one-handed save as Rovers had to settle for a corner.

Rushden, despite the promptings of Andy Burgess, were never able to give much of a service to their front pairing of Adrian Littlejohn and Billy Sharp.

Rovers, who had drawn 12 of their previous home games, needed a second goal and were close to it early in the second half.

Walker had looked offside at the start of a move which ended with another fine save from Shearer as Agogo fired in from his right.

Two shots from Craig Disley- one good one bad - and a near miss by Aaron Lescott finally saw the pressure pay off.

Rushden failed to clear a corner, Disley headed against the bar and then rammed in the rebound from a few feet.

The floodgates were opened and, after pulling off another save from Agogo, Shearer was debited with an own goal as he fumbled a corner. Having kept his side in the game he deserved better.