AFC R&D / MAA U18 3 Desborough Town U18 1

AFC Rushden & Diamonds U18s / Malcolm Arnold Academy are through to the Quarter Finals of the David Joyce Cup after beating Desborough Town 3-1 at the Dog and Duck.

The scholars went into the game during a purple patch, where the young Diamonds had only won one in their last five.

But their current form was soon put aside as just 15 minutes in, they were infront. Striker Matt Pinder was in space in the penalty area and after a nice turn away from his marker, he finished low into the bottom corner to make it 1-0.

Less than ten minutes later, the scholars doubled their advantage. Good high pressing from Joe Ackroyd helped to win the ball off of the defender and pulled the ball back for Pinder to slot home, to get his, and Diamonds’ second.

The MAA boys bossed the midfield and their dominance in that department was shown as they kept supplying chances, and Desborough Town were perhaps lucky to only go in 2-0 down at the break.

Half Time. AFC R&D U18s / MAA 2-0 Desborough Town U18s.

Desborough did improve in the second half and got to grips with the game, which restricted the number of opening the scholars had.

It took until the 75 minute before Diamonds got on the scoresheet again. This time, the tricky winger Harrison Desborough danced through his name sake’s defence and fired the ball in making it 3-0.

However the away side did get a late consolation with just eight minutes to go. The striker picked the ball up in a tight area before firing past Sam de Boer in the Rushden net.

Full Time. AFC R&D U18s / MAA 3-1 Desborough Town U18s.

The scholars will now host Woodford United U18s in the Quarter Finals of the David Joyce Cup.

After the game, I spoke to manager Darren Purse:

“The first half of the game was probably the best we have played all season, we passed the ball around really well and deserved to be two nil up. But we dropped off a little bit in the second half, but overall it was a decent performance.

This is the competition we got to the final of last year, it would be nice to go and at least replicate that this year and hopefully maybe go one better. When we have a near full strength side out like tonight, we could go on to win it. But first of all, we need to take care of Woodford in the next round, which will be another difficult game – they’re  a big physical side, and if we can match up to that, we have a good chance of going through.”

Players’ reaction to the game:

@mattpinder97 Quality win tonight lads, through to the next round, always good to score twice as well @AFCRD

@sxmdeboer Gutted to have let a poor late goal in, but overall it was a solid win. Onwards and upwards as we progress into the next round! @AFCRD

Match Report by Hayden Pott.

AFC Rushden & Diamonds

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