AFC Rushden & Diamonds U18 0 Bugbrooke St Michaels U18 1

AFC Rushden & Diamonds U18 0-1 Bugbrooke St Michaels U18

Northants Senior Youth League

After more than 2 months without a game, the Diamonds U18s returned to action with a disappointing 1-0 defeat at home to Bugbrooke.
The teams had already met twice this season, with the Badgers recording a 3-2 league victory at the end of August, and Rushden gaining revenge with a 4-0 win in the FA Youth Cup a month later. The Diamonds lineup was a very different looking one to that which had triumphed back in September, with only half the squad having been involved that day, and four of the Academy U16s making their U18s debuts.

The game got off to the worst possible start for the home side, as sloppy defending allowed Robbie Wallace to break clear down the left flank, and he pulled the ball back to Charlie Hynam who smashed it into the bottom corner from 10 yards out.

After a nervy opening few minutes, debutant Ollie Lee was looking very solid and assured at the heart of the Rushden defence, and he went close to equalising with the Diamonds only real effort of the first half. A good run from Tom Reeve saw him tripped just outside the box, and from the resulting free kick, Tommy Messinger’s excellent cross was headed inches off target by Lee.

It wasn’t just the hosts who were struggling in front of goal as, despite superior possession, the visitors were also finding scoring chances difficult to come by. Their best efforts after the early opener also came from set pieces, as two right wing corners near the end of the half saw a chance cleared off the line by the Rushden defence, before Sam Duval headed over from close range.

HT: AFC Rushden & Diamonds U18 0-1 Bugbrooke St Michaels U18

The second half continued in a similar vein to the first, with scoring chances at a premium. Ben Roche forced a routine save from Badgers’ ‘keeper Luke Reeve with another header from a corner, before Wallace fired straight at Connor Brown from a tight angle.

There was little other action until the final 10 minutes of the game, when it started to come to life again. A good run from Jamie Inwood, against his former club, saw him tripped just outside the penalty area, and another excellent delivery from Messinger found the head of Jake Reynolds, but his effort flew inches over the bar. Lee then went close to a debut goal again with another header from a set piece, but he too was just off target.

The final chance of the game fell to the visitors as a good move down the right flank saw substitute Dan Powell get in behind the Rushden defence, but his goalbound effort was superbly saved by Brown.

FT: AFC Rushden & Diamonds U18 0-1 Bugbrooke St Michaels U18

The Diamonds U18s next in action on Thursday 27th February, when they take on Olney Town Colts at East Street.

AFC Rushden & Diamonds U18

Bugbrooke St Michaels U18

24. Connor Brown
17. Tommy Messinger
2. Jamie Inwood
4. Noah Bryant (c)
22. Ollie Lee
6. Ryan Chamberlain
7. Tom Reeve
8. Liam Murphy
9. Ben Roche
10. Jake Reynolds
11. Savvas Hamp

1. Luke Reeve
2. Adam Johnson
3. Dan Field
4. Joe Wakelin
5. Sam Duval
6. Dan Ashwell
7. Cameron Harrison
8. Joe Howarth
9. Robbie Wallace
10. Charlie Hynam
11. Alex Webb

14. Joe Ackroyd
19. Ben Peaks
20. Luke Garner

12. Laurence Benham
13. Tom Bamford
14. Dan Powell
15. Adam Roberts


Hynam (7 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.