Sat 07
U13s JPL
Rushden & Diamonds FC
U12's through to National Trophy Semi Final

U12's through to National Trophy Semi Final

By Gary Watkins
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Close encounter at Perdiswell

Worcester welcomed Rushden and Diamonds to perdiswell for a quarter final clash and ran out winners in a tough game.

First Half

Defending into a strong wind Worcester were aware it was going to be a difficult half as the visitors started strongly and forced a couple of early corners which caused a few problems. The first ten minutes were scrappy with both sides adapting to the strong wind. Rushden were content with the long ball up to their lively striker but the home defence of Josh Sanders, Josh Francis and Jay Bennet copped well with any threat. City took the lead in the 12th minute after some smart thinking by Adam Willis. The home side were awarded a free kick on the half way line which Willis took quickly with a great pass to Kyle Clayton which caught the visitors on the back foot and Clayton ran on and cooly slotted the ball past the advancing keeper. The visitors continued to press and were rewarded with an equaliser in the 15th minute. City conceded a needless free kick some 25 yards out. Rushden's Oliver Evans stepped up and struck a fierce shot aided by the wind which Louis Hudson in the home goal couldn't hang on to. City introduced Hayden Russel into the heart of the defence to deal with the long ball and he soon settled things down commanding any aerial threat. With the home side finding it difficult to get out of their half it was no surprise when the visitors took the lead in the 23rd minute after city conceded another free kick on the edge of the box which struck the city bar and in the ensuing scramble Ryan Lok poked the ball over the line
Hayden Russel almost levelled for City when he smashed through the visitors midfield and defence on a strong run but his final touch just took the ball to close to the keeper. The visitors had a couple of efforts on goal which went wide before Clayton produced a touch of class to level the scores in the 31st minute when he picked the ball up from Jake Brookes before seeing the keeper off his line he produced a sublime lob from 30 yards into the back of the net. He then proved what team work is about 3 minutes later with a goal saving tackle in his own box as the half ended all square at 2-2

Second Half
With the wind behind them City started to dominate from the whistle playing some neat passing football. Ash Doyle linked well with Henry Guy as his effort just skimmed the post. Willis came close to scoring with a great effort but he was denied by a fantastic finger tip save by the visiting keeper. Rushden, like City in the first half were struggling to get out of their half but were defending stoutly. Jay Bennet came close for the home side with a free kick which was deflected for a corner. Doyle took the corner and as the ball bounced in the area Hayden Russel was on hand to smash the ball in the net from close range to give the home side the lead in the 53rd minute. Rushden were still looking dangerous on the break but any ball over the city defensive line was swept up by Zac Watkins in goal playing a high line. Further efforts by Josh Sanders and Jake Brookes failed to find the target before Rafe Green thought he had extended the home sides lead with a fine header but he was denied by a worldy of a save by the visitors keeper. The remainder of the game saw both sides battle but no further goals meant the City boys progress to the National Trophy semi final
It was a cracking game played by both sets of boys who were committed and a credit to their clubs.

Gold - Kyle Clayton
Silver - Hayden Russell
Bronze - Josh Sanders

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Match details

Match date

Sat 07, Mar 2020