Rushden & Diamonds 2 Cogenhoe United 1

Diamonds advanced to the Quarter-Finals of the Hillier Senior Cup, thanks to a 2-1 victory against United Counties League side Cogenhoe United. Credit must go to Cogenhoe, who made a good account of themselves and played their part in an exciting game.

Diamonds started the brighter of the two sides, and almost took the lead form their first corner in the fourth minute, when Greg Pearson’s header, which looked goal-bound was blocked. A minute later Diamonds created another golden opportunity when Rigby picked up the ball in his own half, dribbling the ball 40 yards, before shooting just wide of the far post.

Lee Tomlin again shot wide from distance after 12 minutes, as Diamonds looked to put pressure on the visitors. Michael Rankine had a shot from distance on the 15-minute mark and he was a becoming a real handful for the Cogenhoe defence.

Cogenhoe created their first real chance of the game after 17 minutes, and after good work down the left flank, Scott Tynan had to be alert to punch a deep cross clear. The next cross from this side a minute later, evaded all those in the box.

Although Cogenhoe were coming into the game more, they had to be alert of Diamonds pace on the break, as Rankine again had a shot blocked ofter a speedy break involving Lee Tomlin. From the resulting corner, the ball was knocked back into the box, only for Pearson to clear the crossbar from an offside position.

After some good pressure by Cogenhoe, Tomlin again broke with speed down the left side, and fed Pearson, whose shot was blocked for yet another corner. Although Diamonds looked the more likely to score the game was still end to end, and Tynan had to rush off his line to collect the ball before Steve Diggin of Cogenhoe.

Rankine again made his pace count in the 28th minute, and after good ball control, he shot across the face of goal, and just wide of the far post. Pearson had a shot easily saved by James Alger in the Cogenhoe goal, before Tomlin saw his shot blocked for a corner.

Diamonds right-back Ugo Udoji tricked his was round three, although the end product was an easy save. Seven minutes before half time Greg Pearson went down in the box after making contact with the keeper after he had looked to have knocked the ball past him, although the referee decided – no penalty.

Cogenhoe created their best chance of the first-half a minute later, as their number 9 Steve Diggin broke the Diamonds off-side trap, although Scott Tynan pulled pulled-off a great one-on-one save to keep the scores level.

Pearson was needlessly booked for dissent before the first-half was over, and at the interval the score remained goalless.

Half-time Rushden & Diamonds 0 – 0 Cogenhoe United

Diamonds were quick out of the blocks for the second half, and within minutes of the re-start both Pearson and Rankine saw their shots blocked.

Diamonds finally broke the deadlock in the 56th minute, when Dominic Langdon knocked the ball over the line in a mad scramble after himself and Greg Pearson both had shots saved – 1-0 to the Diamonds

Within 60 seconds of the re-start Scott Tynan was down injured, after colliding with Langdon, who looked to have been pushed by the Cogenhoe’s Malcolm Ndweke. However, he was soon up to his feet and play resumed.

Cogenhoe made their first substitution of the night in the 61st minute when Ndweke was replaced by Ashley Bradshaw. Neither Bradshaw or his team-mates could do anything about the next Diamonds attack, as a deep cross found Alex Bolt unmarked at the far post; he unselfishly squared the ball for Pearson, who failed to connect from 6-yards out.

Rob Goldring came on for Tom McGowan ad Cogenhoe looked to push forwards and catch Diamonds out. The game was end to end at this point with Diamonds looking to add a second, while Cogenhoe looking for an equaliser.

The referee blew for a foul on the keeper by Rankine, as they both climbed for the same ball, and Alex Bolt was cautioned for a late challenge before both teams made substitutions. Justin McKenzie replacing Steve Diggin for Cogenhoe, and Lawrence Lambley coming on for the impressive Michael Rankine.

Within two minutes of coming on Lawrence Lambley had caused panic in the Cogenhoe defence with his pace, and Diamonds won a corner. In the next attack Lambley again broke through the backline with pace, this time slotting the ball low into the far corner of the net to make the score 2-0 (78 minutes).

Lambley was again in the thick of the action, and the James Alger had to be quick off his line making yet another great save. Jake Beecroft came on to replace the hardworking Andrew Rigby in the 81st minute.

Pearson had yet another shot blocked, before Lambley again had the ball in the back of the net in the 84th minute, although this was ruled out for offside.

Lee Tomlin saw a free-kick blocked by the wall, and Scott Tynan saved easily before in the 89th minute Cogenhoe got the consolation goal that their performance deserved. Justin McKenzie getting his head on the end of a cross whipped in from the left flank, making the score 2-1.

Although Diamonds now progress to the Quarter-Finals of the Hillier Senior Cup, praise must go the Cogenhoe of the United Counties League, who gave a great account of themselves in an exciting match,which was full of chances.

Full-time Rushden & Diamonds 2 – 1 Cogenhoe United

Teams:

Rushden & Diamonds:
Scott Tynan, Ugo Udoji, Anthony Weston, Andrew Rigby (Jake Beecroft, 81), Callum Reynolds, Dominic Langdon, Sean O’Keefe, Alex Bolt, Greg Pearson, Lee Tomlin, Michael Rankine (Lawrence Lambley, 75)

Subs Not Used: Martyn Margarson

Cogenhoe United:
James Alger, Brian Page (c), Jason Lee, James Thatcher, Ollie Wilkinson, Neil Champelovier, Tom McGowan (Rob Goldring 66), Scott Goodacre, Steve Diggin (Justin McKenzie 73), Malcolm Ndweke (Ashley Bradshaw, 61), Ian Pearce

Subs Not Used: Lee Gotch

Booked: Pearson (44), Bolt (71)

Referee: Ian Rathbone

Attendance: 133

Diamonds Man of the Match: Dominic Langdon

Diamonds will now face a trip to Ford Sports Daventry in the Quarter-Final of the Hillier Senior Cup. Fixture details will be posted on the Official Website and in the programme as soon as they are confirmed.

The full Quarter Final draw is as follows;

Brackley Town v Kettering Town
Ford Sports Daventry v Rushden & Diamonds
*Northampton Spencer or Rothwell Town v Long Buckby
Wellingborough Town 2004 v Woodford United

* Fixture scheduled for Tuesday 24th October 2006

Report by Simon Hitchcox

Photos by Mal Swinden

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