AFC Rushden & Diamonds U18 5 Rushden & Higham United U18 1

AFC Rushden & Diamonds U18 5-1 Rushden & Higham United

Northants Senior Youth League

AFC Rushden & Diamonds U18s followed up on last week’s thrilling 6-5 victory at Irchester with a far more routine win over Rushden & Higham at the Dog & Duck.

The Diamonds controlled the game from the off, but found the visitors difficult to break down in the opening stages. Matty Foster went closest to opening the scoring, when his volley from Savvas Hamp’s cross was brilliantly saved by Ryan Bromley.

A minute later the Lankies had their first chance of the game, as the lively Rory Brinkhurst forced a good save from Connor Brown, with a shot from a tight angle.

Tommy Messinger and Hamp both went close for the Diamonds, before Foster struck the post with a header from Hamp’s corner.

Diamonds broke the deadlock on 26 minutes though, as Hamp laid off the ball to Noah Bryant and he struck a terrific 25 yard effort into the bottom corner, giving Bromley no chance.

The hosts continued to press, but some excellent blocking and last ditch tackling from the visitors prevented them from adding a second goal. Rushden & Higham did threaten occasionally on the break, and Brown was again called into action after another good effort from Brinkhurst.

HT: AFC Rushden & Diamonds U18 1-0 Rushden & Higham United

With only one goal to show for their first half dominance, the Diamonds would have been keen to make their pressure pay in the second half. And they all but made the game safe in the opening 10 minutes after the interval. With 50 minutes gone, a free kick was clipped into the Lankies penalty area and flicked on by Omar Ghavami, for Matty Smith to stoop and nod home from close range.

Five minutes later it was 3-0, as Smith pounced onto a loose ball just inside the Rushden & Higham half, burst clear of the defence before slotting the ball past Bromley.

The visitors pulled a goal back on 61 minutes though with their first effort of the second half. A dubious free kick was awarded just outside the Diamonds penalty area, and Elliot Gillingwater curled a superb strike into the far corner, watched on the R&H bench by brother Jake.

A minute later though the Diamonds restored their 3 goal advantage. Smith completed a fine hat-trick, latching onto a Hamp pass, beating two defenders, and firing the ball into the bottom corner from the edge of the penalty area.

Hamp then went close to a deserved goal with a 20 yard effort that flew just wide, before Smith fired a 25 yard free kick just over the bar as he looked for a fourth.

The Lankies had one further scoring chance as the last 15 minutes approached, substitute Yonas Afewerk robbing Bryant before hitting a terrific 20 yard strike towards goal, but Brown made a superb fingertip save to push the ball onto the crossbar.

The scoring was complete on 82 minutes as Diamonds substitute Harry Matthews fell extravagantly inside the visitors’ penalty area, with the referee pointing to the spot. Kyron Walsh stepped up to take the penalty, and smashed the ball into the top corner. And it was almost 6-1 in the final minute, as a good run and cross from Ghavami was played against his own post by Ross Freeman.

FT: AFC Rushden & Diamonds U18 5-1 Rushden & Higham United

The Diamonds U18s are in action at the Dog & Duck again next week, albeit this time as the away side, as they take on Wellingborough Town on Monday 16th.

Attendance: Approx. 64

Man of the Match: Matty Smith


AFC   Rushden & Diamonds U18

Rushden   & Higham United U18

24. Connor Brown
  2. Ben Roche
  4. Noah Bryant
  6. Ryan Chamberlain
  8. Matty Foster
  10. Savvas Hamp
  11. Matty Smith
  15. Omar Ghavami
  16. Ryan Bhatti
  17. Tommy Messinger
  21. Kyron Walsh

  1. Ryan Bromley
  19. Ross Freeman
  3. Liam Safford
  4. Elliot Gillingwater
  5. Myles Hutchinson
  6. Charles Griffith
  7. Alex Smith
  8. Alex Paterson
  9. Rory Brinkhurst
  10. Matty Plowe
  14. Callum Watts

  3. Alex Peters
  19. Joe Holmes
  20. Harry Matthews

  11. James Fricker
  12. Nat Knell
  15. Sam Churcher
  17. Yonas Afewerk

  Bryant (26 mins)
  Smith (50 mins)
  Smith (55 mins)
  Smith (62 mins)
  Walsh (82 mins, pen)

  Gillingwater (61 mins)


  Paterson (68 mins, foul)

Sent Off:

Sent Off:


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