Northampton Spencer U18 0 AFC Rushden & Diamonds U18 2

Northampton Spencer U18 0-2 AFC Rushden & Diamonds U18

Northants Senior Youth League

The Diamonds U18s’ penultimate game of the season ended with a well deserved victory after a tough battle with Northampton Spencer at Spencer Park.

The first half was a great advert for the NSYL, with both sides playing some good attacking football and little to separate the two. The first chance of the game fell to the hosts as a left wing cross was met by Scott Digby, but his diving header flew just wide of the upright.

Rushden responded just a minute later, as Matty Smith won a header just outside the Spencer box and then raced onto it himself, but his attempted lob fell agonisingly wide of the far post.

Both sides then exchanged decent efforts from long range free kicks; James Wallington for Spencer, and Tommy Messinger for the Diamonds, but both were denied by good saves.

Rushden broke the deadlock soon after though, and it came from another free kick. Messinger whipped in a dangerous cross from the left wing, and it somehow evaded everyone in the crowded Spencer penalty area and found the far corner of the net.

The visitors continued to threaten from set pieces, and from an inswinging Savvas Hamp corner Ollie Lee volleyed towards goal with the ball appearing to strike a defender on the arm, but the referee waved away the Diamonds’ loud appeals. Shortly after, another good free kick delivery, this time from Jamie Inwood, was headed across goal by Smith but just missed the far post.

The hosts went close to an equaliser in first half stoppage time as a left wing corner was met by the head of Robson Kightly, but Hamp was well position to clear the ball off the line. There was still time for Rushden to threaten once more, as a 25 yard shot from Joe Ackroyd whistled narrowly wide.

HT: Northampton Spencer U18 0-1 AFC Rushden & Diamonds U18

The second half unfortunately lacked the same quality and excitement as the first. A 30 yard effort from Wallington only just cleared the bar with Connor Brown off his line, before another rasping effort from outside the box, this time from Jack Frankland wide on the right, produced a fine save from the Diamonds’ ‘keeper.

The hosts began to let their frustrations get the better of them, as they picked up two bookings for unnecessary fouls. Inbetween, Smith went close to a Rushden second but saw his header from Messinger’s deep cross well saved by Simon Sopi.

Rushden made the game safe in injury time. A great crossfield ball from Smith found substitute Omar Ghavami inside the Spencer penalty area, and although his first touch deserted him he recovered well to win back possession before being bundled over by a clumsy challenge. The referee pointed to the spot, and Noah Bryant made no mistake, tucking the ball into the bottom corner giving Sopi no chance.

FT: Northampton Spencer U18 0-2 AFC Rushden & Diamonds U18

The Diamonds U18s finish their season on Thursday 8th May, when they take on Northampton Spencer again in the return game at the Dog & Duck.


Northampton Spencer U18

AFC Rushden & Diamonds U18

1. Simon Sopi
  2. Rebus Richard-Noel
  3. Robson Kightly
  4. Kristian Lyon
  5. Liam Stone
  6. Ceepy Logongo
  7. Jack Frankland
  8. James Wallington (c)
  9. Scott Digby
  10. Reiss Gartland
  11. Brandon Cooke

17. Connor Brown
  2. Tom Reeve
  3. Jamie Inwood
  4. Noah Bryant (c)
  5. Ollie Lee
  6. Ryan Chamberlain
  7. Ben Roche
  16. Tommy Messinger
  9. Matty Smith
  10. Matty Foster
  11. Savvas Hamp

  12. Jack Portley
  14. Brad Pettit
  15. Charlie Halliwell
  16. Billy Patching
  17. Jordan Sweeney

  12. James Pearson
  15. Omar Ghavami
  18. Chris Knapp
  21. Joe Ackroyd


  Messinger (22 mins)
  Bryant (90 mins, pen)

  Stone (65 mins, persistent fouling)
  Logongo (84 mins, foul)



AFC Rushden & Diamonds

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