On a cold, wet evening last week, Rushden and Diamonds youth team continued their unbeaten run by beating Peterborough PSV Youths 2-1. The game, an FA Northants U18 tie, heralded the teams 5th game without defeat (now extended to 6 games, after their 1-1 draw with Southend Youths last night). The team are now in the cup semi-final.
“I thought we bossed the first half, and should have been a couple of goals ahead at the break. We had some dodgy moments at the back early on, probably due to the strong wind, but after we took the lead midway through the first half we definitely looked the better side. Sam Smith took his goal very well, cooly slotting home when one-on-one with the keeper after showing good pace and strength to get past the last defender. Jake Beecroft then started to control the midfield as usual – I fully expect to see him make some first team appearances next season, he looks a fantastic prospect – and then Lewis Hallford (only 16, and looks like a non-league equivalent of Cristiano Ronaldo!) on the right wing began showing what an even better prospect he is by tormenting their left back and getting in some dangerous crosses.
“The second half was a much scrappier affair, and each spell of decent football was interspersed with a series of wayward passes and clumsy challenges. PSV were starting to get on top of the game, although we looked more threatening in front of goal. There was some controversy late on in the game as a PSV striker capitalised on another mistake by our defence and raced through, only to be challenged from behind by Aynsley McDonald who was the last man, but the ref further endeared himself to the PSV fans by waving play on. I was down the other end of the pitch so was unable to see if McDonald actually got the ball or not, but I’m sure the ref made the correct decision!”
Thanks to davealbon for the match report!