AFC Rushden & Diamonds U18 side earned an emphatic 5-0 win at Conference North side Brackley Town in the FA Youth Cup on Tuesday evening and progress to the second qualifying round of this national cup competition.
Ieuan Ivett opened the scoring in the 4th minute firing in from close range after a Matt Pinder strike was blocked, Christy Nginamau added the second on 36 shooting home from 15 yards, Ivett added a 3rd and his second 3 minutes into the second half Matt Pinder again the provider, and the big centre forward set-up Luke Garner for the 4th on 63. He then got his deserved goal putting away a 78th minute penalty after being pulled down deep inside the box.
Manager Darren Purse included five players in his squad that have seen first team action. Rhys Redding, Matt Pinder, Joe Ackroyd, Sam Leeson and Luke Garner.
The young Diamonds started the game with real positive intent and took the lead in just the 4th minute. Matt Pinder was played in down the left beat his man and cut in on the angle, fired in a low shot which was only partly blocked allowing Ieuan Ivett to fire home from 5 yards.
They largely dominated the early period denying Brackley meaningful possession through the midfield pairing of Joe Ackroyd and Thomas Craddock closing down their opposition at every opportunity and the back four strong in the challenge and well organised.
Matt Pinder looked strong and skilful up front and came close to adding a second goal on 16 controlling a long ball forward and turning and hitting a sharp effort that was well held by Josh Easterbrook in the Brackley goal.
Brackley were restricted to occasional breaks but did create a chance on 24 from a quick move that got Callum Williams into the right edge of the area but centre-half Caley McTeggart intercepted well to quell the danger.
The game had lacked genuine chances to this point but Diamonds upped the tempo and created a series of chances around the half hour mark. Matt Pinder came close from inside the box after great work from Ackroyd, Ackroyd himself fired across the keeper when well placed, Craddock fired in a fierce shot that the keeper struggled to hold, and Pinder nearly pounced on another spilt effort seeing his dink over the keeper go just wide.
The second goal finally came on 36 with both wide players involved. Harrison Desborough surged superbly down the left wing, eventually pulling the ball back for full-back Ashley Hewitt to cross deep. It wasn’t cleared and Christy Nginamau controlled, turned and struck a crisp cross-shot just inside the far post from 15 yards.
Christy nearly added a third a minute later firing in a superb effort that the Brackley keeper just tipped wide when played into space in the box. And Brackley fashioned their best chance of the half after a swift break got through the Diamonds midfield the ball played out wide right and then swung in to James Smith who headed wide when unmarked 15 yards out.
Half-time: Brackley U18 0 AFC Rushden & Diamonds U18 2
Diamonds stared the second half as they had the first and after a period of early pressure added an impressive third. Matt Pinder with some classic centre forward play held the ball up in the box with his back to goal laid it back beautifully to Ieuan Ivett to sweep home from the edge of the box for his second of the night.
Brackley were being well and truly outnumbered in midfield at this point and beaten man for man all over the park by a committed Diamonds side.
After a series of substitutions by both sides the young Diamonds added a 4th goal on 63. Pinder again was powerful on the left edge of the box running onto a through ball, surging at the Brackley back line, this time squaring the ball for substitute Luke Garner to sweep home from the edge of the box.
Brackley had worked hard for their club all night and continued to try and pass the ball and got some joy around the middle of the half. On 70 after a period of pressure the ball was slid through to Alex Stott who controlled well and scraped the outside of the right hand post with a rasping effort.
The same player was involved in another good move on 73 getting put free down the right to put in an excellent cross that centre half Sam Bridges placed just wide.
But Diamonds were still the dominant attacking force and won a penalty on 78 as Matt Pinder was pulled down in the box for the easiest of penalty decisions. The big striker picked himself up and placed the penalty coolly into the right corner for a deserved 5th goal of the game.
All the Diamonds substitutes looked impressive particularly Luke Garner and Ryan Baird. The latter tormenting the Brackley midfield with his trickery and pace.
He was involved in creating two late chances for Garner. The striker putting a header wide from a good cross, and hitting a late through ball over after some more excellent build up play. Baird also drew the only yellow card of the game as Ellis Minott couldn’t handle his pace and pulled him down as he attacked the box.
Final Score: Brackley U18 0 – AFC Rushden & Diamonds U18 5
It was an impressive performance from Darren Purses side, strong and well organised defensively, challenging and energetic in centre midfield, pacey and skilful out wide, and powerful up front. They took their chances well when they came, were patient when they didn’t, and earned the continuation of their FA Youth Cup run. They next meet Biggleswade Town in the 2nd qualifying round of this national competition.
Reporters Man of the Match: Matt Pinder
Attendance: est. 80
Match Report by Paul Judd
AFC Rushden & Diamonds U18/MAA
1. Josh Easterbrook
6. Joeb Evans
17. Dan Middleton
5. Sam Bridges
20. Ellis Minott
29 Kyle Wynne
21. Josh Murphy
29. Callum Williams
7. Josh Gibbins
25. Alex Stott
23. James Smith
18. Harry McGonkell (for Gibbins 74)
4. Lewis Chant
14. Andy Johnson
28. Patrick Wright (Williams 60)
26. James Watt (for Evans 55)
24. Rhys Redding
2. Sam Leach
3. Ashley Hewitt
4. Thomas Craddock
5. Ben Peaks (c )
6. Caley McTeggart
7. Harrison Desborough
8. Joe Ackroyd
9. Matt Pinder
10. Ieuan Ivett
11. Christy Nginamau
12. Jordan Freeman
14. Jamie Mastro Piero (for Desborough 75)
15. Ryan Baird (for Ivett 52)
16. Luke Garner (for Christy 61)
86. Sam De Boer
Goals: Ivett (4 & 48), Christy (36), Garner (63), Pinder (78 Pen)
Yellow Cards: 20 (83)
Referee: Matthew Paul