Central College Nottingham 0 AFC Rushden & Diamonds / MAA U18 4

AFC Rushden & Diamonds scholars made it three wins from three in their league by beating Central College Nottingham away 4-0, despite the match being abandoned after 75 minutes.

The match was abandoned 15 minutes from the end due to a serious leg break to the Nottingham goalkeeper. The result still stood as the referee was satisfied that enough of the game had been played for the result to stand. Both managers agreed and Diamonds victory will stand.

In a game of two halves, the wind caused havoc to Diamonds first half passing game. The boys had trouble trying to get into a rhythm to work some reasonable goal scoring opportunities.

It was a tight first half with neither side really taking the scruff of the neck. The home goalkeeper denied the MAA boys every time they created a half chance.

Half Time. Central College Nottingham 0-0 AFC Rushden & Diamonds / MAA

But with the wind in the young Diamonds’ backs, they didn’t waste time in getting on the scoresheet. In fact it would be the start of a flurry of goals that were perhaps overdue. 

65 minutes in, Weeks had worked another good opening on the right hand side. It was his cross that found his opposite winger Leeson at the back post to tap in. A goal that any coach would be proud of with the opposite winger being at the back post to tap in.

Then just a minute later, Pinder got in on the act. Following good midfield play by Ackroyd and Kirk, they played in Pinder. He found himself one on one with the keeper. He kept his cool and waited for the keeper to go down before slotting in the opposite bottom corner.

The scoring didn’t stop there. 67 minutes in and Knapp converted. Following a Diamonds corner, Nottingham couldn’t clear. This set up a goal mouth scramble and Knapp fired in on the volley.

Finally, the five minute goal fest concluded in the 70th minute. The home goalkeeper got in a mix up with his defender and the keeper ended up kicking the ball against the defender into their own net.

Then the game would come to a grinding end in the 75th minute. Diamonds actually had the ball in the back of the net for their fifth goal, however during the buildup, there was a bad collision between the goalkeeper and a defender. In unfortunate circumstances, the goalkeeper ended up breaking his leg. Then both managers and referee agreed that the game should end to allow the injured player to have the care and attention his required from paramedics.

Full Time. Central College Nottingham 0-4 AFC Rushden & Diamonds / MAA.

(Match abandoned after 75 minutes.)

Team: Barnes, Peaks, Knapp, Keirney, Usuf, Kirk, Ivett, Ackroyd, Leeson, Weeks, Garner.

Subs: Redding, Pinder, Desborough, Roach, Hewett.

After the match, manager Darren Purse explained the ending of the game: “Us coaches got together and said shall we call it a day while we wait for the ambulance. At the end of the day, it was the right thing to do. The player obviously needed some privacy so we called the game off. There was only 15 minutes left so the referee was happy to finish. So we called it a 4-0 win.”

During the match itself, Purse was happy with the performance: “There’s going to be tough games where it will be hard to break teams down. But I was very pleased we were able to keep a clean sheet. It was a pretty good performance, when we got the ball down and played about, we tore them open a few times. All of our goals came quickly. That was a result of keeping the pressure on and us using our momentum to our advantage. All of the substitutes I made had an impact and the own goal was obviously quite nice to get because a few of them have gone against us this season.” 

Match report by Hayden Pott.