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AFC Rushden & Diamonds 1 Northampton Town 2 - the match report

30 July 2019

A young Northampton Town Development XI, skippered by Football & Education programme graduate Scott Pollock, travelled to AFC Rushden & Diamonds on Tuesday evening for the Northamptonshire FA's Maunsell Cup Final.

The side selected for the game was an example of the club's player pathway working, with Will Bates and Ethan Johnston, who were both part of the club's Football & Education programme side who won the National Football Youth League Southern Championship title last season, named among the substitutes.

The first opportunity of the evening fell to full back Richie Bailey, who had been played in by Caleb Chukwuemeka, but Bailey's effort was tipped behind.

Diamonds keeper Niall Cooper was in action again moments later, tipping a Morgan Roberts free kick behind.

Roberts was the creator on 21 minutes, delivering a cross that Chukwuemeka calmly finished from close range.

With half time approaching, a Bailey cross was turned against the post by a Diamonds defender, before Lashley made a smart save from a Diamonds break.

There was still time for Billy Waters to be denied just before half time along with Morgan Roberts as the Cobblers took a single goal lead in to the interval.

Lashley saved well from Jack Bowen in the opening moments of the second half, while at the other end, a Roberts free kick was blocked by the wall.

The Cobblers keeper was called in to action again with 12 minutes to play, palming a header from McDonald over the bar before denying Sam Johnson moments later.

With six minutes to play, Diamonds levelled when Jack Ashton headed home but with time running out, Football and Education programme product Ethan Johnston scored the winner, to ensure the Northampton Town Development squad lifted the Maunsell Cup.

Cobblers: Bradley Lashley, Richie Bailey, Ryan Hughes, Jay Williams, Josh Flanagan, Caleb Chukwuemeka, Scott Pollock, Ryan Smith, Morgan Roberts, Billy Waters, Michael Harding.
Subs: Will Patching, Will Bates, Ewan Clark, Tom Scott, Ethan Johnston

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