AFC Rushden & Diamonds / MAA U18 v Rushden & Higham U18 – Thursday 12th February

AFC Rushden & Diamonds U18s host Rushden & Higham in the Quarter Finals of the David Joyce Cup on the evening of Thursday 12th February.

The match is being played at the Dog & Duck with a 19.45 kick off and all fans are welcome.

The scholars defeated Peterborough Northern Star 2-1 in the previous round, see report here, to set up this derby clash with Rushden & Higham. As the David Joyce Cup is the only cup competition the MAA lads are left in, manager Darren Purse is determined to do well in it.

Purse gave his thoughts ahead of the derby clash. “The lads are really looking forward to it, they love playing at the Dog & Duck infront of a crowd. Rushden & Higham will offer a different sort of test, as they’re not an academy, which we usually play against. Although, in the last round against PNS, it was a tough test for the lads but they came through really well. I thought they performed fantastically that night. They need to step up to the plate, and show the fans what they can do. It’s a local derby which I’ll be reiterating to the lads and hopefully it will bring out the best in them.”

Purse, who has just moved to Conference side Welling United is still committed to preparing the youngster for men’s football. “Peaksy and Andy Keen could be there, and that’s what it’s all about preparing them for the step up for the U21’s and the 1st Team. They’ve been lucky enough that three or four of them have been involved in the 1st Team, training or playing, but being involved in the squad for games. That’s what I’m preparing them for, the step up to 1st Team football.”

This will be the lads second game in two days, as they are due to play a league game on Wednesday afternoon. Purse commented earlier in the week “We now have two games in two days, it can’t be helped. I would’ve liked the Rushden & Higham game to have been played on a Monday, but that doesn’t suit Wellingborough Town. It’s not ideal, especially with our small squad. We have three lads away on school trips so I have brought in an U16 player who goes into our squad of 15 for two tough game in two days. It’s going to be hard, but I’m backing the lads to get through it.”


The David Joyce U18 Cup is a Northants FA Competition open to all the youth sides aligned with the county clubs, so it includes teams representing Northampton Town and Peterborough United.

Preview by Hayden Pott.