Brook House College 4 AFC Rushden & Diamonds / MAA U18 1

AFC Rushden & Diamonds U18s were knocked out of The English Schools KO Trophy by falling to a 4-1 defeat to the hands of experienced side Brook House College.

Brook House College are an academy that have been playing in the college leagues for ten years, so manager Darren Purse understood that this would be a difficult task.

In the opening exchanges, Diamonds tried to get on top and take control of the match. And for the opening 17 minutes, the scholars more than matched their opponents.

However 17 minutes played, Brook House took the lead, perhaps against the run of play. A needless sloppy free-kick was given away in a dangerous position and the Diamonds defence was outmuscled in the box and the resulting free-kick was headed in with a free header.

On the stroke of half time, Diamonds were to get back into the game. In first half added time, Desborough had worked an opening well by playing a quick one two with Leeson on the right hand side. This got Desborough around the full back, then he was able to beat the centre half with a good piece of skill and his cross cum shot was parried in by the goalkeeper. Half time came with Diamonds unfortunate not to be infront.

Half Time. Brook House College 1-1 AFC Rushden & Diamonds / MAA

Diamonds started the second half bright and they could’ve taken the lead with half an hour left to play. Pinder was set up for a one on one. It was defining moment, in which if he had of scored, you could have seen Diamonds going on to win the game. However it wasn’t to be as the goalkeeper pulled off a good save to leave Pinder disheartened.

Then the next defining moment of the match took place. Manager Purse made two substitutes, taking off Hewett and Leeson, replacing them with Garner and Weeks. Whereas Brook House brought on two central midfielders. It would soon turn out to be the battle of the double substitution in the second half, to see who would go on to win it.  

Diamonds had a warning sign as Brook House had a goal disallowed from a free kick. It would turn out to be a warning sign they didn’t pick up on as the side’s work ethic depleted and the match got scrappy and the scholar’s play got sloppy, losing their grip on the match. As a result of this, Brook House went on to score two late goals to win the match and send Brooke House into the next round.

Team: Barnes, Peaks, Knapp, Keirney, Roache, Kirk, Desborough, Ackroyd, Leeson, Hewett, Pinder.

Subs: Garner, Weeks, Ivett

A disappointed Darren Purse said after the game: “I’m very disappointed as I thought we had a good chance to go places in the cup. I have to take full responsibility for the substitutions I made. Perhaps they were made at the wrong time. Games are defined by fine margins. If Matty [Pinder] had of converted his chance, maybe we would’ve go on for the victory but we just lost our discipline a little bit towards the end of the second half.”

However Darren couldn’t quite put his finger on why the side dropped off towards the end of the match, and refused to accept it was because they had played two games in three days. “Playing two days apart didn’t affect us, they’re fit lads. Brook House had a game too on the Wednesday so there’s no excuses in that respect.”


Match Report by Hayden Pott.