AFC Sudbury Reds 1-2 AFC R&D U18s / MAA

AFC Rushden & Diamonds U18s / Malcolm Arnold Academy ended 2015 with a league victory over AFC Sudbury Reds on a windy Monday afternoon.

Following a couple of postponements, the scholars managed to record a 2-1 win thanks to goals from Caley McTeggart and Christy Nginamu to make it three leagues wins out of three.

The MAA boys started off strongly, with some good chances in the opening 15 minutes. Thomas Craddock cut in from the right hand side and the home goalkeeper pulled off a smart save.

However with AFC Sudbury’s first attack, they won a corner which they would go on to score from. 17 minutes in the ball was whipped in and goalkeeper Sam de Boer couldn’t stop the ball from swinging into his far post. Giving the host an undeserved 1-0 lead.

But the goal didn’t deter the scholars, as Christy Nginamau had two one-on-ones to try to bring the U18s back on level terms, but he couldn’t find the target.

Diamonds were created chances, but with the wind against them, they couldn’t find the back of the net.

Half Time. AFC Sudbury Reds 1-0 AFC Rushden & Diamonds U18s / MAA.

Second half and the scholars had the wind in their favour and needed to use it to their advantage.

But just five minutes after the break, the scholars gave away a penalty. The ball was played through to the AFC Sudbury attacker and Sam de Boer should have dealt with it. But the Diamonds stopper fumbled, and the attacker nipped in and rounded the ‘keeper and Ben Peaks was the guilty party bringing the player down – and receiving a yellow card as a result. But de Boer made up for his mistake and superbly saved the penalty to keep Diamonds in the game.

From the missed penalty, it really was a catalyst to spur Rushden on. Dyrmishi replaced the injured first year Isse Ali-Farah and Dyrmishi really made an impact as a substitute by driving the U18s on.

But the scholars would finally get back on level terms, and deservedly so after 62 minutes. Striker Matt Pinder had made a good run wide on the right and he was fouled on the corner of the 18 yard box. Nginamu whipped in the free-kick and following a goal mouth scramble, defender McTeggart poked the ball home to make it 1-1.

Just eight minutes later, Thomas Craddock on the right hand side this time, won another free-kick in a similar position. Nginamau once again whipped in the cross and this time it evaded everyone and flew into the back of the net to put the Diamonds 2-1 ahead.

The U18s had several other chances to make the result look more comfortable, but in the end, a strong second half performance was enough to get the three points.

Full Time. AFC Sudbury Reds 1-2 AFC Rushden & Diamonds U18s / MAA.

After the game, manager Darren Purse said he was really pleased with the performance. In the last two games now, we’ve put on a real good performance and that is encouraging. I’ve said before we’ve got a few second years out injured including Joe Ackroyd but to be fair to the first years, they’ve really stepped up to the plate well and performed superbly.

It was a brilliant performance and puts us in good stead for the new year.”

Match Report by Hayden Pott.

AFC Rushden & Diamonds

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