NFA Hillier Senior Cup Semi-Final: AFC Rushden & Diamonds 2-1 Bugbrooke St. Michaels FC

A stoppage time Will Jones goal at Hayden Road last night won a closely contested Hillier Senior Cup Semi-Final 2-1 against Bugbrooke St. Michaels. It sees Diamonds progress to a Sixfields final against Peterborough Sports – date to be confirmed.

Manager Andy Peaks made three changes to his starting line up with Matt Slinn, Ryan Hughes and Will Jones coming in for Liam Dolman, Fernando Bell-Toxtle and Ty Deacon who all moved to the bench.

Bugbrooke from UCL Step 5 started brightly and put Diamonds under some pressure particularly from set pieces but were unable to fashion any real chances.

Diamonds gradually came into the game and took the lead with the games first chance on 26 minutes. Sam Warburton got clear down the left and saw his cutback only half cleared into the path of AJ George who finished coolly through the Bugbrooke players on the line.

Diamonds largely dominated the remainder of the half but were unable to seriously trouble the resolute Bugbrooke back line.

Half-time: Diamonds 1 Bugbrooke St. Michaels 0

Diamonds fashioned a decent chance early in the second half with Will Jones heading Patrick Casey’s excellent cross straight at the away keeper but couldnt kill off spirited opposition.

Bugbrooke stayed very much in the game and searched hard for an equaliser which finally came from a set piece on 71 minutes. Calvin Green struck a powerful effort from 25 yards right into the top corner giving Dean Snedker no chance.

The closing stages were even with chances at both ends but just when penalties loomed Will Jones popped up with an added time winner. Found in behind the Bugbrooke defence he neatly lobbed the away keeper and with Ty Deacon closing in the retreating defenders couldn’t keep the ball out.

Final Score: Diamonds 2 Bugbrooke St. Michaels 1

Job done for Diamonds in the kind of competitive game they would have expected. It could have gone either way in the latter stages but that extra quality told when it mattered.

Diamonds will play Peterborough Sports at Sixfields in the final trying to win the competition for the third time.

Next up in the league are consecutive Saturday away days at Barwell and Biggleswade Town.

Man of the Match: Will Jones
Attendance: 232 (plus cat….see twitter)

AFC Rushden & Diamonds

13 Dean Snedker, 2 Patrick Casey, 3 Sam Warburton, 4 Matt Slinn, 14 Ryan Hughes, 6 Alex Collard, 7 Nathan Tshikuna, 8 Ben Diamond, 9 Will Jones, 10 AJ George, 11 Connor Furlong Subs 12 Fernando Bell-Toxtle 5 Liam Dolman, 15 Ty Deacon, 16 Jack Snelus, 17 Charlie Nixon

Goals: AJ George 26, Will Jones 90+1

Bugbrooke St Michaels

1. Jake Bull, 2. Joe Lewington, 3. Daniel Field, 4. Luke O’Neill, 5. Curtis Averg, 6. Aiden Webster, 7. Sean Whaler, 8. Greg Ling, 9. Eddie Panter, 10. Daniel Porter, 11. Calvin Green Subs 12 Josh Whaler, 14 Ben Drinkwater, 15. Joe Power, 16. Tom Caton, 17. Dan Bullen

Goals: Calvin Green 71