AFC Rushden & Diamonds U18 3 Wellingborough Town U18 2

AFC Rushden & Diamonds U18 3-2 Wellingborough Town U18

Northants Senior Youth League

After the bore draw against Rushden & Higham the week before, the Diamonds edged out Wellingborough Town in an enthralling game at the Dog & Duck.

After a very even start to the game, the Doughboys started to look as though they would take control, with Shane Oslar volleying just wide after left wing free kick hadn’t been dealt with by the Diamonds defence. They didn’t have to wait much longer before opening the scoring though, as another set piece from the left was again met by Oslar and this time his glancing header found the back of the net.

Jake Reynolds thought he had equalised just three minutes later when he rifled home brilliantly from 20 yards, but was denied by an offside flag. Rushden continued to press and a great counter attack saw Omar Ghavami find Matty Smith on the right flank, and his square pass picked out Reynolds again, whose 25 yard piledriver was tipped around the post by Justin Greatorex. From the resulting corner, Ryan Chamberlain headed over the bar from close range.

The first half was proving to be a very entertaining affair, as Wellingborough continued to press for a second goal. Macauley Copping tested Brown with a volley from the edge of the area, before a speculative effort by Reece Brown from near the right hand touchline just cleared the bar.

Reynolds seemed to be involved with every Rushden attack, and a great run down the right saw him set up Smith on the edge of the box, but he miskicked his shot and skied the ball well over the bar. Smith and Ghavami then combined well again to set up another chance for Reynolds, but his close range volley lacked power and was well saved by Greatorex.

The Rushden defence wasn’t dealing well with set pieces and on several occasions the ‘visitors’ went close to doubling their lead, but failed to test Brown.

As the half drew to a close, the Diamonds had one more chance for a deserved equaliser, Noah Bryant crossing low into the penalty area, where Ghavami hit a half volley just wide of the post.

HT: AFC Rushden & Diamonds U18 0-1 Wellingborough Town U18

The entertainment continued in the second half, and within 20 seconds of the restart Tommy Messinger broke clear down the right flank and hit a great strike from the corner of the penalty area that just cleared the far post.

Shortly after, Chamberlain headed just over again from another left wing corner, before Ghavami picked out Reynolds in the Doughboys penalty area, but he tried to walk the ball in and was eventually dispossessed by a covering defender.

The Wellingborough players were starting to lose their heads as a Diamonds equaliser become more and more inevitable, and Kieran Westbury picked up a booking after conceding a free kick midway inside his own half. With just over an hour gone, Ollie Lee replaced Alex Peters in the centre of the Rushden defence, and within seconds he had drawn his side level, with his first touch of the ball. An excellent set piece delivery from Chamberlain found the head of Lee at the far post, and he nodded the ball back across goal and into the top corner, for his first U18s goal for the club.

And just 7 minutes later the game was turned on its head, as the Diamonds edged in front. Another good delivery from Chamberlain caused problems in the Wellingborough defence, and Copping headed past his own goal keeper for and own goal.

Rushden were well in the ascendency now, and should have netted a third goal on 74 minutes, as a Lee header found Reynolds 6 yards from goal, but his volley flew agonisingly wide of the post.

It was somewhat against the run of play that Wellingborough equalised on 83 minutes. A free kick from the right flank was glanced on by a Rushden defender and fell kindly for Lewis Fisher who placed an excellent volley back across goal and into the far corner.

However, it was the Diamonds who would have the last laugh as deep into stoppage time the Doughboys conceded another free kick in a dangerous position, after substitute James Pearson was upended. Smith stepped up and fired a brilliant effort over the wall and into the back of the net, with what turned out to be the last kick of the game.

FT: AFC Rushden & Diamonds U18 3-2 Wellingborough Town U18

The Diamonds U18s are next in action on Thursday 3rd April when they travel to Cogenhoe United.


AFC Rushden & Diamonds U18

Wellingborough Town U18

17. Connor Brown
2. Ben Peaks
7. Ben Roche
4. Noah Bryant (c)
5. Alex Peters
6. Ryan Chamberlain
15. Omar Ghavami
3. Joe Ackroyd
10. Jake Reynolds
11. Matty Smith
19. Tommy Messinger

1. Justin Greatorex
5. Tom Middleton
3. Jake Dixon
2. Macauley Copping
4. Shane Oslar
12. Harry Goodekham-Doherty
7. Zak Ward
17. Kieran Westbury (c)
9. Reece Brown
15. Ryan Betts
11. Joe Wenham

8. James Pearson
14. Savvas Hamp
16. Liam Murphy
18. Chris Knapp
23. Ollie Lee

5. Toby Robinson
10. Lewis Fisher
14. Kallan Yearwood
16. Michael Allen
18. Brad Evans

Lee (63 mins)
Copping o.g. (70 mins)
Smith (90+2 mins)

Oslar (19 mins)
Fisher (83 mins)


Westbury (53 mins)


The latest AFC R&D U18 fixtures and results are here.

For the latest appearance and goalscorer stats see here.

The current NSYL league tables (East & West Divisions) are here.


AFC Rushden & Diamonds

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