NFA Hillier Senior Cup 1st Round: Cogenhoe United 1 AFC Rushden & Diamonds 1 – Diamonds win 6-5 on Penalties

Diamonds won their NFA Hillier Senior Cup 1st Round tie on Saturday afternoon with a 6-5 penalty shoot-out victory after a 1-1 full-time scoreline in a competitive game.

Impressive Cogenhoe lead for half an hour after Alex Parkes swept home on 37 minutes. Diamonds deservedly levelled on 68 minutes through Jenson Cooper and had chances to win the game late on as did Cogenhoe in a good quality game played in a good tempo in sweltering heat.

The first 11 penalties in the shoot-out were scored with the keepers barely getting a touch. Diamonds went 6-5 ahead thanks to Courtney Lashley’s cool strike before Dean Snedker saved to win the tie for the visitors.


Manager Andy Burgess picked Evan at centre half alongside Ryan Hughes with Paddy Casey and Courtney Lashley at full-back. Nathan Hicks retained his partnership with Jesse Aqubuine in centre midfield with Fraser Corden and a trialist (Sutherland) who played on Tuesday out wide. Jenson Cooper led the line with another trialist (Towey) who had played on Tuesday night.

It was a bright start to the game with Sutherland seeing a dangerous cross blocked and Paddy Casey thwarting a dangerous Cogenhoe break.

Jesse Akubuine combined with Ryan Hughes in midfield to nearly get Fraser Corden in before Dean Snedker made a great save to deny an angled shot from Cogenhoe.

Jenson Cooper then screwed an effort wide from 15 yards when clean through before Cogenhoe volleyed over from 8 yards after a dangerous corner in an end-to-end opening period.

Diamonds did start to shade possession as Fraser Corden just missed out on a deflected clearance, Towey produced a good save from the home keeper and Nathan Hicks saw a screamer just go wide.

Cogenhoe then broke the deadlock after another quick break cut through Diamonds to get the winger free down the right. He cut back to the midfielders, swept superbly home from 15 yards.

They nearly added a second minutes later as the right winger got clear again but smashed his effort into the side netting.

Half-time: Cogenhoe 1 Diamonds 0

Diamonds improved further in the second half and Jenson Cooper came close to collecting a great through ball just 5 minutes in.

They were struggling to create chances initially but Jenson Cooper was played in on goal on the hour but saw his effort beat the goalkeeper but also the far post.

Cogenhoe were always threatening on the break and came close to adding a 2nd after another good move saw a lobbed effort from right in front of Dean Snedker somehow pushed away by the Diamonds keeper.

Diamonds finally got the goal they deserved with a swift move finished emphatically by Jenson Cooper on 68 minutes. He came close to adding a second minutes later as second half sub Morley got in a great cross that Cooper just flicked over.

The impressive Morley could have clinched it on 82 minutes but screwed his 15 yard effort wide when well placed and Aziamale saw a 15 yard effort blocked after great work from Jenson Cooper.

Cogenhoe never stopped pressing themselves and could have won it with a goalmouth scramble which was cleared off the line.

Jesse Akubuine then powered forward as we went into added-on time and fired just wide and Evans saw a header from right under the bar just go over as the final whistle went.

Final Score: Cogenhoe 1 Diamonds 1

The penalty shoot-out saw some great efforts giving the keepers little chance. Nathan Hicks, Jesse Aqubuine, Aziamale, Jenson Cooper and Evan all slotted with Cogenhoe confidently slotting all their pens. At 5-5 Courtney Lashley slotted coolly to give Dean Snedker the chance to make the save that won the tie.

Diamonds win 6-5 on penalties

This was another step forward for Diamonds after the improved second half against Loughborough in midweek. They were still vulnerable defensively but passed and moved much better and created chances throughout the game, particularly in the 2nd half.

Cogenhoe were another motivated and well organised opposition and this was a good quality game played at a good tempo in very warm conditions.

Next up would have been a home game against Northampton Town but the anticipated extreme weather predicted has meant the game has been cancelled.

Reporters Man of the Match: Jointly to Dean Snedker and Jenson Cooper

Attendance: 152

Match Report: Paul Judd

AFC Rushden & Diamonds

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