Rushden & Higham United U18 0 AFC Rushden & Diamonds U18 0

Rushden & Higham United U18 0-0 AFC Rushden & Diamonds U18

Northants Senior Youth League

The Lankies and the Diamonds played out a rather uninspiring goalless draw at Hayden Road.

Both sides struggled to get going in a first half blighted by monsoon conditions, although it was the hosts that looked the more threatening side. Charles Griffith saw a 25 yard effort go narrowly wide of Connor Brown’s goal early on, but the best chance of the opening 45 minutes fell to Ross Freeman, whose 20 yard lob cleared Brown but hit the top of the bar.

At the other end, a great ball from Noah Bryant found Omar Ghavami in the right hand side of the hosts’ penalty area, but he could only shoot straight at Jayden Mann. In the closing minutes of the half, Matty Smith went on a great run through the middle of the Rushden & Higham defence, and fired just over the bar from 20 yards.

HT: Rushden & Higham United U18 0-0 AFC Rushden & Diamonds U18

The second half continued in a similar vein to the first, with little quality and few chances for either side, although it was the Diamonds who now looked the more threatening side. Shortly after the restart, Savvas Hamp pounced on a defensive error but shot straight at Mann from the edge of the box, before Ghavami crossed for Smith whose header was tipped around the post.

The hosts’ best chance of the second period fell to substitute Yonas Afewerk, who raced on a long ball down the left channel, but he was denied by an excellent save from Brown.

It wasn’t until the final 10 minutes that the game finally came to life. Ghavami squared to Jake Reynolds who hit a powerful shot from 20 yards that rattled the crossbar, before Luke Hancock tried an effort from a similar distance for Rushden & Higham, only to see Brown make another good save. The Diamonds broke immediately, with Ben Roche doing brilliantly to get to the byline before crossing low to Smith. His initial shot was saved, with the rebound falling to Reynolds, but only he will know how he failed to hit the back of the net from close range.

Then, deep into injury time, the visitors saw a Joe Ackroyd shot blocked following a left wing corner, and from the ensuing goalmouth scramble, Mann made a terrific save to push the ball around the post from close range.

FT: Rushden & Higham United U18 0-0 AFC Rushden & Diamonds U18

The Diamonds U18s next in action on Monday 24th March, when they take on Wellingborough Town at the Dog & Duck.

Rushden & Higham United U18

AFC Rushden & Diamonds U18

1. Jayden Mann
16. Kaise John-Lewis
3. Ben Barnett
4. Kieran Cotter
5. Myles Hutchinson
6. Charles Griffith
17. Ross Freeman
8. Alex Patterson
9. Rory Brinkhurst
10. Luke Hancock
11. James Fricker

24. Connor Brown
14. Tom Reeve
2. Jamie Inwood
4. Noah Bryant (c)
7. Ben Roche
12. Ryan Chamberlain
9. Omar Ghavami
17. Tommy Messinger
11. Matty Smith
10. Jake Reynolds
19. Savvas Hamp

7. Alex Smith
12. Yonas Afewerk
14. Sam Churcher
15. Louis Gray

6. Alex Peters
8. James Pearson
20. Joe Ackroyd
22. Ollie Lee