Daventry United 2 Rushden & Diamonds 5

NFA Hillier Senior Cup

Rushden & Diamonds beat Daventry United 5-2 in the Hillier Senior Cup at Royal Oak Way. Goals from James Reid, Dan Easlea, Nicky McNamara (2) and Sam Smith gave the Diamonds a comfortable victory, but the Motormen gave them a good workout, taking the lead, and competing strongly, especially in the first half.

Paul Driver and Micheal Stone took charge of first team affairs, and they gave full debuts to Matt Evans, Bobby Aisien, Sean Shields and Dan Easlea. First teamers in the starting line-up included Dale Roberts, Jamie McGuinness, Simon Downer, Rob Wolleaston, Nick McNamara, Sam Smith and James Reid.

The Diamonds started brightly, with Sean Shields impressing as he looked very comfortable playing alongside the collection of first team players.

The home side took the lead from the spot after 20 minutes – the goal scored by Liam Hynes after Ben Jones was brought down in the box.

The Diamonds equalised after 33 minutes when James Reid was brought down just outside the area, and he took the kick himself, which found the net off the inside of the post, with Farrow stranded.

A number of other chances were wasted, with Rob Wolleaston starting a great move which sliced through United’s defence, but his final prod towards goal was easily gathered by Farrow. McNamara blazed over from a good position, and a 35 yard shot by Sam Smith was well saved.

The visitors then took the lead in added time at the end of the first half. Simon Downer set off on a run down the Diamonds right, and was fouled. James Reid took the kick which Dan Easlea knocked home.

A lively and competitive first half had seen two yellows for the home side, and one for the Diamonds, and perhaps the worst of three bad tackles from the Motormen, from Bobby Lea went unpunished.

Half-Time: Daventry United 1 Rushden & Diamonds 2

In the second half the Diamonds dominated proceedings as the home side tired. A Reid corner was knocked home by Nicky McNamara after 55 minutes, and the midfielder scored the Diamonds fourth two minutes later as he found space in the area to strike home from a Reid free kick. The Diamonds scoring was completed when Sam Smith scored their fifth after latching onto a Matt Evans cross from the left, chesting it down and netting past Lee Farrow.

Other chances fell to George Cox, who failed to round off a great move involving Sean Shields, and Nabil Shariff who made a great run down the right, but chose to pass rather than take a more selfish approach which would have allowed a strike on goal. Cox and Shariff were second half substitutes along with Connor Hayes, who was making his first appearance in a senior game for the Diamonds.

Danny Finlay netted a late consolation for the hosts as a free kick from just outside the box wasn’t dealt with by the Diamonds defence. There was still time for Dale Roberts to make a fine save that capped off a commanding performance as Ross Irvine connected with a Motormen free kick.

Full-Time: Daventry United 2 Rushden & Diamonds 5

Paul Driver and Michael Stone were happy with the workout for both the first team squad members and the youngsters who complemented them. The draw for the next round of the competition is expected in the next few days.

Daventry United: Lee Farrow, Rob Seale (Luke Manders 70), Ally Keay, Ross Irvine, Nicky Ling, Brad Harris (Matt Coburn 68), Bobby Lea (Danny Finlay 66), Ian Waldock (Capt), Liam Hynes, Ben Jones, Damon Black

Rushden & Diamonds: Dale Roberts, Jamie McGuinness, Matt Evans, Nick McNamara (George Cox 60), Bobby Aisien (Capt), Simon Downer, James Reid, Rob Wolleaston (Connor Hayes 57), Sam Smith, Sean Shields, Dan Easlea (Nabil Shariff 75)

Subs Not Used: George Artemi, James Broadbent

Goals: Hynes (1-0 20), Reid (1-1 32), Easlea (1-2 45+3), McNamara (1-3 55), McNamara (1-4 58), Smith (1-5 72), Finlay (2-5 83)

Yellow Cards: Nicky Ling, Damon Black, Matt Evans

Attendance: Approx 75

Referee : Nigel Field

Diamonds Man of Match : James Reid

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