Bewdley Town U21 have withdrawn from the league, which means the Diamonds lose the 3 points from this game.
AFC Rushden & Diamonds U21 team recorded a 5-2 win in their first U21 game on Saturday Morning.
They faced Bewdley Town U21 in the Midland Football Combination U21 Division, at Ribbesford Meadow, Bewdley.
U21s manager Dean Thomas was able to include three over-age players in his line-up, and for this game he was able to give game-time to Alex Deakin as he recovers from injury, and to Dan Grainger who missed the latter part of the pre-season period, as well as player/assistant manager Ben Morgan. Thomas was joined on the bench by Andy Smith and first team physio Kimberley Barton who had impressively volunteered to cover both the U21 and senior games.
After a delayed start on a bright morning as the picturesque West Midlands Regional League ground, the Diamonds took an early 7th minute lead through Mason Thomas, who tapped home an Olanrewaju cross following good work on the left hand side from Luke Fathers. But as Diamonds began top enjoy a spell in the ascendancy, it was the hosts who equalised against the run of play. Ziółkowski, back in the squad after a recent holiday, mistimed a challenge right on the edge of the box allowing the opposition’s Matthew Croucher-Smith to step up and drive the ball confidently into the bottom right hand corner of the net, with ‘keeper Brown rightly asking some questions of his wall. However, the young Diamonds did not let this setback to affect them and went on to continue to press forward. On 30 minutes this pressure paid off as Ben Morgan, showing his experience, went on a driving run to the edge of the box, holding off an opposition player before neatly teeing up Thomas for his second. It was then time for the highly-rated Olanrewaju to star, scoring a fine solo effort as he picked up the ball 15 yards inside the opposition half on the left and dribbled past four opposition players before rounding the ‘keeper and slotting cooly into the net to make it 3-1 in the 35th minute. This turned out to be Olanrewaju’s last action of the game as he limped off with tightness in his quad and was replaced by Matty Smith. There was just time in the first half for Connor Brown to pull off a superb block from a 1v1 before the whistle blew to call time on a very productive first 45 minutes of Midland Combination football for the young Diamonds.
After the break, the Diamonds continued their dominance with Ben Morgan adding the fourth goal his performance had deserved and Dan Grainger making it five, just reward for a midfield display that saw the opposition manager declare him Diamonds player of the match. It wasn’t to be all Diamonds though and the industrious Bewdley, who were never as far out of the game as the scoreline suggests, picked up a consolation through Michael Clarke in the 89th minute.
Diamonds (Yellow, Black, Yellow): Connor Brown, Luke Fathers, Adam Ziolkowski, Alex Deakin (c), Jack Crow, Ash Meeks, Louis Smith, Dan Grainger, Mason Thomas, Ben Morgan, Moses Olanrewaju. Subs: Dave Hillman, Matt Foster, Matt Smith
Bewdley (All Blue): Harry Dickens, Kieran Hope, William Ward, Fraser Hall (c), Toby Jeffries, Jack Field, Jake Golding, Lee Matthews, Matthew Croucher-Smith, Redd Savage, Tyler Richards. Subs: Michael Clarke, Joshua Addison, Josh Sidnell.
The MFC U21 League has a dedicated website at http://fulltime.thefa.com/Index.do?divisionseason=208356653&league=6125369, where you will find the league fixtures and the league table. By clicking on a fixture you will see details of the venue, including directions, as well as the squad list for the two teams concerned. The specific fixtures and results for the Diamonds U21 team are on our own website here.