Dale Roberts Memorial Cup 2012


Cleveland Juniors U18 3-1 AFC Rushden & Diamonds U18

Dale Roberts Memorial Cup

A youthful team from AFC Rushden & Diamonds made the trip up to the North-East on Sunday to face Cleveland Juniors in the Dale Roberts Memorial Cup. Thanks must go to all those who organised the game and provided some excellent hospitality, as well as all of those who made the trip up north.

The Diamonds started brightly controlling possession well, but with several strikers unavailable, lacked a cutting edge up front. Louis Smith and Liam Bond both failed to hit the target from distance in the opening stages.

The best chance of the opening 20 minutes fell to Zak Moon, who placed the ball just wide of the post after Blake Helsdown’s right wing cross had only been half cleared.

The hosts first shot of note arrived on 25 minutes, but a long range effort failed to trouble Ashley Foulger.

With the U18 management team of Mark Walsh and Dean Thomas both unavailable, Chairman Ralph Burditt took on the manager’s role, and made an inspired substitution on 33 minutes, bringing on trialist Callum Read, who almost immediately opened the scoring. A deep cross from Moon was headed back across goal by Read, where Devereaux’s shot was blocked, falling kindly for Read once more, who had the simple task of heading home.

With half time approaching, a great ball from Smith gave Helsdown the chance to double the lead, but after lifting the ball over the advancing ‘keeper he was denied by the home defence who managed to get back and clear the ball of the line.

And the Diamonds were made to pay for the missed chance just seconds before the interval, as a ball across the face of was turned in at the far post by Luke Lancaster to draw the hosts level.

HT: Cleveland Juniors 1-1 AFC Rushden & Diamonds U18

Having dominated possession in the first half, Rushden would have been disappointed to find themselves starting the second half on level terms. They started strongly once more, with Devereaux, Bond and Smith all going close from outside the box in the opening minutes.

Devereaux should have restored the Diamonds lead shortly before the hour mark, but fired wide from 6 yards after a great run and cross from Helsdown.

Cleveland seemed to take inspiration from the missed chance, and forced Foulger into a good save with a shot from the corner of the penalty area. They then went closer still, rattling the crossbar with a terrific 20 yard free kick.

The pressure paid off on 63 minutes, as Danny Seaman raced onto a ball over the top and calmly slotted it past Foulger. The hosts didn’t let up there, and they struck the bar once more with a powerful shot from the right hand side of the area.

As the Diamonds pressed for an equaliser they too hit the woodwork, as a 20 yard free kick from Devereaux came back off the post. But on 82 minutes Cleveland went one better, as Adam Johnson hit a stunning free kick across goal and into the far corner to make the game safe.

Rushden did have the ball in the back of the net in injury time, as Smith ran onto a flick on by Devereaux and tucked the ball home, but was denied by an offside flag.

FT: Cleveland Juniors 3-1 AFC Rushden & Diamonds U18


Cleveland Juniors

AFC Rushden & Diamonds


GK. Ashley Foulger
2. Luke Fathers
3. Zach Farden
4. Noah Bryant
5. Zak Moon
6. Alex McDonald
7. Liam Bond
8. Fred Devereaux (c)
11. Blake Helsdown
13. Louis Smith
15. Adam Ziolkowski


12. Callum Read (for Farden, 33 mins)
20. Mark Rust (for Bond, 20 mins)

Lancaster (44 mins)
Seaman (63 mins)
Johnson (82 mins)

Read (35 mins)

 Images courtesy of Mal Swinden

AFC Rushden & Diamonds

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