AFC Rushden & Diamonds Under-18 side fought back to earn a 1-1 draw with New Bradwell St Peter Under-18 in Milton Keynes on Thursday evening.

Manager Mark Walsh chose several players for his starting line-up who had played on the other side of town only three days earlier, and blended then with a number of younger players.

The storms in the area had stayed away from the Bradville area, so the pitch was in good condition as the game kicked off promptly in time for it to be completed in daylight. The Diamonds were playing a 4-5-1 formation with attacking full-backs meaning that the extra men in midfield were always ready to drop back and help out in defence.

After an even first quarter the home side started to take advantage of gaps through the middle, and after 33 minutes they took the lead when Chris Stanton chased a through ball under a challenge from Alex McDonald and his shot may have deflected off the defender as it went past the advancing keeper Ben Clarke.

Within a minute the Diamonds had a claim for a penalty when a good run by Blake Helsdown saw him fouled on the edge of the area, but the referee consulted his assistant and gave a free kick just outside the 18-yard area.

The home side had a couple more chances to extend their lead, but good work by Clarke ensured his side was only a goal down at the interval.

Half-Time: New Bradwell St Peter U18 1 AFC Rushden & Diamonds U18 0

Whilst the hosts had shaded the first half, the second period definitely belong to the Diamonds. Mark Walsh brought on Savvas Hamp and Steve Blood at the break, and it was the lively attacking midfielder Hamp who scored the equaliser on 52 minutes when he ran into space before powering home a shot from 25 yards.

Another substitute Omar Ghavami was causing problems with his pace down the flanks and a good pass from Joe Holmes put Blake Helsdown free on goal, but a combination of keeper and defender managed to force the ball clear. Ghavami had the final chance of the game when he broke down the right wing, cut inside and fired a powerful shot that the home keeper did well to force around the post for a corner.

Full-Time: New Bradwell St Peter U18 1 AFC Rushden & Diamonds U18 1

A busy week for the club comes to an end with the fourth game in five days on Friday evening when the Senior side host a youthful Luton Town XI at the Dog & Duck.

 

New Bradwell St Peter U18

AFC Rushden & Diamonds U18

 

86. Ben Clarke

14. Zach Farden

5. Zak Moon

6. Luke Fathers

20. Alex McDonald

9. Adam Bowdrey

4. Noah Bryant

8. Fred Devereaux

7. Blake Helsdown

16. Mason Thomas

10. Joe Holmes

Subs

12. Savvas Hamp (for Holmes H/T)

2. Steve Blood (for Bowdrey H/T)

17. Tom Ward (for Fathers 56)

15. Ryan Bhatti (for Farden 56)

11. Omar Ghavami (for Moon 58)

Other Changes

Moon for McDonald 69

Holmes for Devereaux 69

Devereaux for Helsdown 71

Helsdown for Thomas 84

Goals:

Chris Stanton (32mins)

Goals:

Savvas Hamp (52mins)

Cards : None

Cards : None

 

 

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