AFC Rushden & Diamonds U18 5 Daventry Town U18 2

AFC Rushden & Diamonds 5-2 Daventry Town

Northants Senior Youth League

AFC Rushden & Diamonds opened up a huge 16 point lead at the top of the Northants Senior Youth League Western Division table following an entertaining victory over second placed Daventry Town. As well as the league’s top two sides pitting their wits against one another, the two top goalscorers also went head to head, as the Diamonds’ Jake Reynolds went up against Daventry’s Taylor Orosz, both of whom started the game having hit the back of the net 15 times this season.

The game couldn’t have got off to a worse start for the Diamonds, as they lost the ball within 6 seconds of kicking off, and then conceded the opening goal inside 35 seconds. Zach Farden under-hit a pass just outside his own penalty area to give the visitors possession in a dangerous area, and although the Rushden defence then managed to half clear the ball, it was played forward to Ryan Cooke and his excellent pass found the run of Taylor Orosz who expertly lifted the ball over the advancing Alex Vitue and into the back of the net.

The lead didn’t last for long however, as the Diamonds hit back inside 2 minutes. A right wing throw was flicked on by Conor Bell, and Jake Reynolds showed great determination to beat his marker to the ball and fire into the top corner from 6 yards out.

The lively start to the game continued, as Matthew Hibbard forced a smart save from Vitue at one end, and then a minute later Rushden won a corner at the other end which Reynolds nodded just wide. As the half went on though, the Diamonds began to take control of the game, and after Moon had seen a shot cleared off the line, and Reynolds had volleyed against the post, they edged themselves in front. A long ball forward bounced into the Daventry penalty area where Reynolds challenged Sachin Tayal in the air, forcing the visiting ‘keeper into fumbling the ball, and it fell kindly for Bell who lashed it into the top corner.

Rushden were well on top at this point and pressed for a third goal, as Reynolds, Helsdown and Moon all went close from outside the box. But as it looked like they would be leading going into the half time interval, the visitors grabbed an equalizing goal on 41 minutes. A 20 yard free kick was awarded against the Diamonds, and Orosz stepped up to curl a terrific strike onto the crossbar. The ball was only cleared as far as Hussain Kofi on the right hand side of the area, and his attempted cross looped over everyone and hit the far post before nestling in the back of the net.

HT: AFC Rushden & Diamonds 2-2 Daventry Town

Rushden could count themselves a little unfortunate to only be level at the break, although Daventry had caused them more problems in the first half than most sides had over the full 90 minutes throughout the season. The second half, however, saw the hosts step up a gear and take the game to the visitors.

There were some ugly scenes at the start of the half, as a Daventry player appeared to lash out at Alex McDonald off the ball, but the referee was quick to calm down the situation, although neither he nor his assistant had seen the incident so no further punishment was given.

Ten minutes after the restart the Diamonds retook the lead with what turned out to be the goal of the game. Bell picked up the ball in midfield before laying it off to Helsdown who cut inside and powered a shot into the top corner from 20 yards.

Daventry were still looking a threat on the break, particularly with the pace of Orosz, and from one such attack, their leading scorer burst away down the left flank, but fired across goal and just wide of the post.

It was still Rushden who looked more likely to score another goal though, with Adam Ziolkowski going closer that anyone when his near post header from a left wing corner was cleared off the line. Reynolds then went close again, turning well before firing a shot at Tayal.

On 77 minutes the fourth goal finally arrived, and it was Reynolds who grabbed it and edged ahead in the leading scorers chart. A right wing cross found the head of substitute Omar Ghavami, who nodded the ball against the post, but Reynolds reacted quickest to tap the ball home. And 3 minutes later the points were sealed, as Ghavami capped an excellent cameo appearance with the fifth goal. Bell played a sublime defence splitting pass to find the run of Ghavami, who took the ball around the ‘keeper and slid it into an empty net.

There were further chances for the Diamonds in the final ten minutes, as Ben Roche went on a great run down the left before firing just over the bar from a tight angle, and Reynolds then had a decent chance for his second successive hat-trick, but headed wide of the post following a left wing corner.

FT: AFC Rushden & Diamonds 5-2 Daventry Town

Rushden now have a week off before their next NSYL game, against Irchester United at the Dog & Duck on Monday 18th March.

Attendance: 61

Man of the Match: Alex McDonald


AFC Rushden & Diamonds

Daventry Town

24. Alex Vitue
2. Ben Roche
17. Zach Farden
4. Noah Bryant
5. Adam Ziolkowski
6. Alex McDonald
7. Zak Moon (c)
8. Fred Devereaux
9. Conor Bell
10. Jake Reynolds
11. Blake Helsdown

1. Sachin Tayal
2. Remmy Britain (c)
3. Charlie Archer
4. Luke McDonald
5. Charlie Marshall
6. Hussain Kofi
7. Matthew Faulks
8. Matthew Hibbard
9. Taylor Orosz
10. Ryan Archer
11. Ryan Cooke

12. Ben Roche (for Farden, 50 mins)
14. James Mann (for Bryant, 78 mins)
16. Wes Kirkton
21. Ryan Bhatti
22. Omar Ghavami (for Bond, 66 mins)

12. Nathan Bobowicz (for Faulks, 56 mins)
14. Sean Millar (for Archer, 77 mins)
15. Oliver North
16. Ozzy Njie (for Cooke, 77 mins)

Reynolds (3 mins)
Bell (21 mins)
Helsdown (56 mins)
Reynolds (77 mins)
Ghavami (80 mins)

Orosz (1 min)
Kofi (41 mins)



Sent Off:

Sent Off:


For video highlights and interviews see here.

Images courtesy of Mal Swinden ©2013 Malcolm Swinden Photography

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