3 of the 5 Academy teams got to play despite the wet & freezing conditions…

AFC Rushden & Diamonds U12s   3 v 4   Middleton Cheney F.C. U12s
Played at the Malcolm Arnold Academy, Northampton

Early exchanges were even until Diamonds took the lead in the 2nd period, but the visitors stuck back immediately. Diamonds took a slender 2-1 advantage into the final period. A great headed goal by Ben Ashmead made it 3-1 to Diamonds but then 2 very quick goals from Middleton shocked Diamonds. The winner came for the visitors in the final few seconds.

Some excellent passing and end-to-end football was played throughout the match. Well done to both teams.

JPL match report can be found here

Leam Hibs F.C. U13s   v   AFC Rushden & Diamonds U13s

Middleton Cheney F.C. U14s   6 v 0   AFC Rushden & Diamonds U14s
Played at Astrop Road, Middleton Cheney F.C.

Debatable that this match should have taken place with a 3rd of the pitch still frozen. A bright start from both teams with some good early chances for Diamonds. In the 1st period, and may be a little against the run of play, Diamonds conceded two goals from a ‘slow defence’ unable to clear their lines. The home side extended their lead very early in the 2nd period on their first attack. Two free kicks for Diamonds, both just outside the penalty area – one just headed over and the other hitting the crossbar. Middleton’s 4th goal came early at the start of the second half from a great through ball and a chip over the Diamonds keeper. Quickly following this the Diamonds keeper saved from point blank range and the defence cleared off the line as the home side piled on the pressure. The 4th quarter Diamonds conceded an O.G. which pretty much summed up their day, but they didn’t give up, and a fantastic point blank save this time from the Middleton keeper denied Harry Lamb from a certain goal. Subsequent chances for Diamonds were missed and a fantastic volley from Sonny Knights was superbly saved to keep a clean sheet. A good game though by both sides and a credit to each club.

JPL match report can be found here

AFC Rushden & Diamonds U15s   v   Histon F.C. U15s

St. Neots Town F.C. U16s   3 v 2   AFC Rushden & Diamonds U16s
Played at Rowley Park, St. Neots.

Diamonds started well and took an early lead that they held on to throughout the first half despite some good passing football from the home side who dominated play. Some fantastic save, and against the run of play, Diamonds extended their lead in the 3rd quarter. St. Neots came back strongly and completely dominated the final quarter to score 3 quick goals and take the win they deserved. A really good quality game played in the right spirit.

JPL match report can be found here


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