Irchester Utd U18 5 AFC Rushden & Diamonds U18 6

Irchester United 5-6 AFC Rushden & Diamonds U18

Northants Senior Youth League

AFC Rushden & Diamonds U18s bounced back from last week’s defeat to Bugbrooke St. Michaels, with an incredible 6-5 victory over Irchester United, in a game both defences will want to forget.

The match started brightly for the Diamonds as they opened the scoring after just 4 minutes. Matty Smith picked up a loose ball and surged towards goal, only to be denied by a brilliant last ditch tackle, but the ball fell kindly for former Irchester man Harry Matthews to tap home from close range, and open his Rushden account.

Any thoughts of a repeat of last season’s 5-0 victory at Alfred Street were quickly dashed, as the hosts equalised on 7 minutes. Chris Howes pounced on the ball as the Diamonds defence lost possession just outside their own penalty area, before calmly rounding both Ryan Chamberlain and goalkeeper Connor Brown and slotting the ball home.

Irchester, clearly lifted by their equalising goal, pushed forward and took the lead on 14 minutes. Charlie Hynam received a pass on the edge of the Rushden penalty area, turned his man before firing home an excellent strike which went in off the far post.

After Ethan Goodman had missed a great chance for the Romans, Diamonds went close to equalising as Omar Ghavami forced a fine save from the home ‘keeper, but seconds later found themselves two goals behind. Rushden again conceded possession cheaply just outside their own penalty area, and Ethan Goodman took full advantage with a delightful lob from 20 yards.

Rushden regrouped, and got themselves back in the game on the half hour mark with a terrific team goal. Ryan Bhatti surged forward from defence and picked out Tommy Messinger, whose superb cross was nodded home by Matthews, for his second of the game. And three minutes later it was all square, as a quick counter attack saw Savvas Hamp find Smith in space with an excellent through ball, and the striker burst clear before delicately chipping the ball over the advancing ‘keeper.

Rushden were in the ascendancy now and should have taken the lead again on 39 minutes when Ghavami was tripped in the box and a penalty was awarded. Matthews stepped up with a chance for his hattrick, but blazed the ball high over the bar. It didn’t seem to matter however, as Rushden did go ahead just a minute later. Matty Foster sent Smith clear, and he once again made no mistake as he sprinted clear of the defence, this time slotting the ball beneath the ‘keeper.

But 2 minutes later the Romans made it 4-4 as once again the Diamonds lost the ball at the back, with Goodman surging clear and slotting the ball past Brown to ensure a bizarre half of football ended all square.

HT: Irchester United 4-4 AFC Rushden & Diamonds U18

The second half, by comparison, was a somewhat dull affair, with only 3 more goals scored! Rushden started slowly and had already had one let off when Brown saved from Goodman, but they were soon behind again as Howes raced onto a long pass and calmly tucked the ball home for his second goal.

Rushden continued to struggle although should have perhaps equalised when Ghavami was sent clear, only to fire well wide, but they were let off on several occasions at the other end, as the hosts failed to capitalise on further defensive weaknesses. The equalising goal did eventually arrive on 77 minutes, as a quick break saw Messinger break clear before squaring to Ghavami for a simple tap in.

Irchester thought they had won the game in the 88th minute as  a long ball was almost bundled home by Goodman, but Bhatti just recovered in time to clear the ball off the line. And a minute into injury time, the Diamonds netted a sixth to take the three points. A scramble on the edge of the Romans’ penalty area eventually saw the ball played square to Foster on the right hand side of the box, and he fired the ball beneath Billy Bates.

FT: Irchester United 5-6 AFC Rushden & Diamonds U18

Attendance: Approx. 80

Man of the Match: Savvas Hamp


Irchester United U18

AFC   Rushden & Diamonds U18

1. Billy Bates
  2. Bleu McNeil
  3. Jack Hill
  4. Tom Doherty
  5. Lee Humberstone
  12. Chris Howes
  17. Jordan Asher
  8. Eddie Mann
  9. Ethan Goodman
  10. Ryan Betts
  11. Lewis Boulton

24. Connor Brown
  4. Noah Bryant
  6. Ryan Chamberlain
  7. Matty Smith
  8. Matty Foster
  9. Omar Ghavami
  10. Savvas Hamp
  11. Ben Roche
  16. Ryan Bhatti
  17. Tommy Messinger
  18. Harry Matthews

  6. Tom Major Gurney
  16. Krystian Plona
  14. Tajae Jones
  15. James Pearson

  15. David Hillman
  21. Feisal Cali
  22. Shekhuna Abubakar 

  Howes (7 mins)
  Betts (14 mins)
  Goodman (19 mins)
  Goodman (42 mins)
  Howes (56 mins) 

  Matthews (4 mins)
  Matthews (30 mins)
  Smith (33 mins)
  Smith (40 mins)
  Ghavami (77 mins)
  Foster (90+1 mins) 



Sent Off:

Sent Off:


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

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