Olney Town Colts 0 AFC Rushden & Diamonds U18 4

Olney Town 0-4 AFC Rushden & Diamonds

Northants Senior Youth League

AFC Rushden & Diamonds U18s returned to winning ways following last week’s draw at Woodford, with a comfortable victory over Olney Town.

Mark Walsh restored leading scorer Jake Reynolds to the starting lineup after he had started the Woodford game on the bench, and named two new faces amongst the substitutes; defender Curtis Hartley and midfielder James Mann, both U16s who have recently left Peterborough United.

The Diamonds started brightly, knocking the ball around with ease, and not giving their hosts the chance to settle. They created the first good chance of the game on 7 minutes, when Connor Bell’s excellent cross was glanced wide by Zak Moon. Bell was forced to leave the field soon after having picked up a leg injury, and was replaced by Matt Smith.

With Rushden having not made the most of their dominance in possession in the early stages, Olney started to grow in confidence and it took a terrific last ditch tackle from Adam Ziolkowski to deny Daouda Cisse after the Olney striker had latched onto a loose ball just outside the penalty area. From the resulting corner, the ball fell to Matt Cunningham who flashed a 25 yard shot narrowly wide.

With 26 minutes on the clock, the Diamonds finally opened the scoring. Smith found the run of Jake Reynolds with a delightful chip over the home defence, and the Rushden striker calmly lobbed the ball over the advancing ‘keeper and into the back of the net. And just 4 minutes later the Diamonds doubled their lead as a defence splitting pass from Joe Holmes found Zak Moon bursting into the Olney penalty area, and although his shot was well saved by Dan Shaw, Reynolds was quickest to react and forced home the rebound.

The Olney players kept their heads up and continued to look for a way back into the game, although were limited to half chances at best. Their best effort of the first half fell to the lively Elliott Stenson after good play between Cisse and Harry Holman Patey, but the winger’s shot from the edge of the box was straight at Alex Vitue.

HT: Olney Town 0-2 AFC Rushden & Diamonds

The hosts started the second half brightly as they tried to pull a goal back. Stenson used his pace to get in behind the Rushden defence before squaring to Cunningham, and although he scuffed his shot the ball fell to the head of Cisse but he couldn’t get enough on it to trouble Vitue. Stenson again burst forward 2 minutes later, this time going for goal himself, but once again the shot failed to trouble Vitue.

The Diamonds then introduced Curtis Hartley and James Mann for their debuts, in an attempt to liven up their second half performance. Still it was the hosts who looked the more threatening though, as a powerful free kick from Holman Patey was well held by Vitue. 3 minutes later they went close again as Stenson raced onto a ball down the right flank before firing just over the bar from a difficult angle.

Rushden finally started to wake up again after that chance, and on 74 minutes they extended their lead. Blake Helsdown set off on a good run through the middle of the park with the ball breaking to Reynolds 35 yards out, and he hit a blistering shot that flew over Shaw’s head and into the back of the net, to give him his third hat-trick of the season.

The Diamonds’ leading scorer wasn’t done there though, and with 12 minutes remaining he netted his and the team’s fourth of the game. Olney lost possession cheaply just outside their own box, and Reynolds was onto the ball in a flash, getting there just ahead of the ‘keeper before rolling the ball into an empty net. Two minutes later it could have been five, as Reynolds rose to meet a right wing corner, but his header was cleared off the line.

Olney still refused to give up and Stenson set off on another good run down the left before firing just over the bar. The final chance of the game though fell to the Diamonds, as Helsdown crossed to Noah Bryant on the edge of the box, and the midfielder volleyed toward goal, but it was straight at Shaw who held the ball well.

FT: Olney Town 0-4 AFC Rushden & Diamonds

The Diamonds are back in action on Monday evening as they take on second place Daventry Town at the Dog & Duck.

Attendance: 47

Man of the Match: Jake Reynolds


Olney Town

AFC Rushden & Diamonds

1. Dan Shaw
2. Jamie Clapton
3. Charlie Malcolm
4. Joe Humphries
5. Sam Haslam
6. Joe Attwood
7. Harry Holman Patey
8. Alex Smithie
9. Daouda Cisse
10. Matt Cunningham
11. Elliott Stenson

24. Alex Vitue
2. Liam Bond
3. Zach Farden
4. Zak Moon (c)
5. Adam Ziolkowski
6. Alex McDonald
7. Connor Bell
8. Noah Bryant
9. Joe Holmes
10. Jake Reynolds
11. Blake Helsdown

12. Jack Turner
14. Matt Stokes (for Humphries, 58 mins)
15. George Bridgman (for Cunningham, 86 mins)
16. Connor Kensington
17. Liam Meara (for Holman Patey, 75 mins)

12. James Mann (for Moon, 57 mins)
14. Curtis Hartley (for Ziolkowski, 50 mins)
16. Matt Smith (for Bell, 15 mins)


Reynolds (26 mins)
Reynolds (30 mins)
Reynolds (74 mins)
Reynolds (78 mins)



Sent Off:

Sent Off:

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AFC Rushden & Diamonds

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