FA Youth Cup – AFC Rushden & Diamonds U18 4 Bugbrooke St Michaels U18 0


AFC Rushden & Diamonds U18 4-0 Bugbrooke St Michaels U18 

FA Youth Cup


AFC Rushden & Diamonds first foray into the FA Youth Cup ended with what might look like a resounding victory, although the game wasn’t as one sided as the scoreline might suggest. 

The Diamonds were able to welcome back Jack Crow and Luke Fathers from injury, but with several other players still missing, Joe Ackroyd and Chris Knapp stepped up from the Academy U16 squad to take two of the places on the bench. 

It was the visitors who started brighter, giving Rushden no time on the ball to play their usual passing game. Adam Roberts and Dan Ashwell both had efforts from distance as the Badgers looked to shoot at every opportunity, but neither troubled Connor Brown. 

After both sides had seen crosses flash right across the face of goal with no one on hand to get a telling touch on the ball, the Diamonds registered their first effort of note, as Omar Ghavami raced onto a good ball from Tommy Messinger and forced a decent save from Luke Reeve. This seemed to spur on the hosts, and they stepped up a gear, with Joe Holmes firing over from the edge of the box before Savvas Hamp drew another good save from Reeve after some good work by Ghavami. 

Ghavami was struggling to beat the Bugbrooke offside trap, but he eventually managed this on 35 minutes when he sprinted onto a great pass from Matty Foster, only to drag his effort wide of the post.

Holmes almost forced an own goal from Badgers’ captain Joe Wakelin, before Messinger fired just wide from the corner of the box. But in the last minute of the half, the Diamonds finally got the goal their pressure had deserved, when Kyron Walsh picked out Ghavami with a fine through ball, and this time the striker made no mistake, slotting the ball past Reeve. 

HT: AFC Rushden & Diamonds U18 1-0 Bugbrooke St Michaels U18 

The visitors again started brightly after the break, and Dan Powell tested Brown with an excellent volley from long range. Despite the good pressure from Bugbrooke, the Diamonds defence were in fine form, and denied them any clear cut scoring chances. 

Rushden began to get back on top once more, with Jack Crow heading just wide, before Holmes picked out Foster for another headed chance, but he too failed to hit the target. 

There was a close scare for the Diamonds on 69 minutes when the visitors won back possession from a Rushden throw, and Ashwell hit a shot that was deflected inches wide of the upright. 

Rushden’s second goal finally arrived on 75 minutes, although it wasn’t the sort of goal we have come to expect from Mark Walsh’s side. A quick punt up field from Brown saw Ghavami get in behind the Badgers’ defence, and he took the ball around the ‘keeper before slotting home. 

Four minutes later the game was safe, as a good ball from Foster found substitute Harry Matthews on the left hand side of the penalty area, and his low cross was cleared only as far as Noah Bryant who lashed the ball home from the edge of the box.

Bryant then saw a header cleared off the line as the visitors began to tire, although they almost pulled back a goal on 83 minutes with a 20 yard free kick, but Brown pulled off a stunning one handed save. 

And as the game entered injury time, the icing was put on the cake, as the Diamonds netted their fourth, and Ghavami completed his hattrick. A quick throw from Matthews saw Ghavami shrug off his marker and burst through on goal, before delightfully ‘dinking’ the ball over Reeve. 

FT: AFC Rushden & Diamonds U18 4-0 Bugbrooke St Michaels U18

The Diamonds U18s Attendance:  94 

Man of the Match: Ben Roche 


AFC Rushden & Diamonds U18

Bugbrooke St Michaels U18

  24. Connor Brown
  2. Jack Crow
  17. Tommy Messinger
  4. Noah Bryant (c)
  5. Ben Roche
  6. Ryan Chamberlain
  7. Joe Holmes
  8. Matty Foster
  9. Omar Ghavami
  10. Savvas Hamp
  16. Kyron Walsh

  1. Luke Reeve
  2. Joe Howarth
  3. Dan Field
  4. Tom Bamford
  5. Joe Wakelin (c)
  14. Charlie Hynam
  7. Dan Ashwell
  17. Cameron Harrison
  9. Max Richards
  10. Adam Roberts
  11. Dan Powell

  12. Luke Fathers
  14. Joe Ackroyd
  19. Ryan Bhatti
  21. Harry Matthews
  22. Chris Knapp

  6. Jarred Green
  8. Sam Caldera
  16. Elliott White

  Ghavami (45 mins)
  Ghavami (75 mins)
  Bryant (79 mins)
  Ghavami (90 mins)


  Bryant (61 mins, foul)


Sent Off:

Sent Off:


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Match Gallery courtesy of Malcolm Swinden Photography (click on the link to access the Diamonds Photo Gallery for more images from this game and ecommerce options). Copyright Mal Swinden ©2013