AFC Rushden & Diamonds Under 18 0 Oadby Town Under 18 2

AFC Rushden & Diamonds U18 0-2 Oadby Town U18

Pre-Season Friendly

AFC Rushden & Diamonds Under 18s slipped to a 2 goal defeat at the Dog & Duck on Wednesday against Oadby Town. The young Diamonds had a number of bright spells and retained possession well but ultimately were made to pay for some defensive frailties.

Rushden got off to a slow start, and inside three minutes Mason Hirst fired just wide from 20 yards after good work from Mason Brown. A minute later and the deadlock was broken as Macaulay Anthony tormented the AFC defence before squaring to Brown who curled the ball into the corner from 10 yards out.

The Diamonds’ first chance came on 10 minutes when Jake Reynolds pounced on a slip by Oadby’s Jordan Reynolds, but from a tight angle could only fire into the side netting. Two minutes later Omar Ghavami created a good chance for himself after dispossessing a defender on the edge of the penalty area, but he scuffed his shot well wide of the post.

On 14 minutes a great ball from the back found Luke Dolby in space on the Oadby wing, but after controlling the ball superbly on his chest, he lacked composure and blazed the ball high and wide. Brown went close to doubling his and Oadby’s tally following a good team move, but his 15 yard shot went narrowly wide.

Rushden had a great chance to equalise on 17 minutes as Jake Reynolds challenged Oadby ‘keeper Adam Fletcher-Warrington with the loose ball falling to Ghavami, but his 20 yard lob was just off target. More sloppy defending a couple of minutes later allowed Jake Reynolds another chance for the Diamonds, but he too failed to hit the target with an attempted lob.

The end to end action of the opening 20 minutes began to quieten down, as both sides tightened things up in defence. That was until the half hour mark when a miscued clearance from Clarke went straight to Brown who lobbed the ball back over the AFC ‘keeper, but Clarke recovered in time to stop the ball on the line.

The final chance of the half fell to the visitors as Karim Sanker setup Rob Morgan with a good through ball, but Clarke made a good save to deny the Oadby midfielder.

HT: AFC Rushden & Diamonds U18 0-2 Oadby Town U18

Mark Walsh made several changes at the interval, bringing on some of his more experienced players in place of the new youngsters. Mason Thomas was immediately into the action, firing in a 20 yard shot which was well held by Fletcher-Warrington.

On 55 minutes the Diamonds best move of the game almost resulted in an equalising goal. Fred Devereaux picked up the ball in midfield and played in Blake Helsdown with a terrific defence splitting pass, but although Helsdown just reached it ahead of Fletcher-Warrington his shot didn’t quite have enough pace on it, and the Oadby defence managed to get back and clear the ball off the line.

The visitors came back at the Diamonds again, and Clarke was called into action three times in only 7 minutes, saving first from Sanker and then twice from Brown, although Brown should have found the back of the net with his second effort, but scuffed a simple chance from 6 yards.

For a while it began to look like the hosts would make their opponents pay for the missed chances, as Jake Reynolds twice went close to equalising. A great cross from Conor Bell saw the striker head towards goal, only to be denied by a fine save from Fletcher-Warrington, before the Oadby ‘keeper again came to the rescue after Savvas Hamp had setup Reynolds once more. The second save fell to Alex McDonald, but he couldn’t direct his effort on target.

It wasn’t to be though, as with the last kick of the game, Brown twisted and turned inside the Rushden penalty area, before firing past Clarke to seal the victory for the visitors.

FT: AFC Rushden & Diamonds U18 0-2 Oadby Town U18

Attendance: 74

Man of the Match: Zak Moon

Photographs courtesy of Mal Swinden


AFC Rushden & Diamonds

Oadby Town

86. Ben Clarke
14. Blake Helsdown
2. Ben Roche
5. Zak Moon
7. Luke Fathers
6. Alex McDonald
8. Fred Devereaux (c)
19. Ant Willey
9. Ryan Bhatti
10. Jake Reynolds
23. Omar Ghavami

1. Adam Fletcher-Warrington
2. Jordan Reynolds
3. Rob Morgan
4. Milan Charles
5. Sam Gent
6. Zac Winston (c)
7. Luke Dolby
8. Mason Hirst
9. Mason Brown
10. Karim Sanker
11. Macaulay Anthony

3. Zach Farden (for Bhatti, 46 mins)
4. Noah Bryant (for McDonald, 46 mins)
16. Mason Thomas (for Reynolds, 46 mins)
20. Conor Bell (for Ghavami, 46 mins)
21. Savvas Hamp (for Willey, 46 mins)

12. Jack Pritchard (for Brown, 46 mins)
14. Callum Blow (for Anthony, 24 mins)
15. Harry Joyce (for Gent, 46 mins)


Brown (4 mins)
Brown (90 mins)



Sent Off:

Sent Off:

 Photographs courtesy of Mal Swinden

AFC Rushden & Diamonds

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