QPR U18 (1) – Rushden & Diamonds U18 (0)

Team: Bulmer, Cox, ilesanmi, Smith, Harris, Wright, Parker, Brittain, Ehmer, German, Nanetti
Subs: Waters, Bailey, Perrin, Molloy, Vanterpool

Danny Davenport had a foot injury and was replaced by Max Ehmer who had returned from Germany after representing a regional side there. There was no sign of the trialist, Jerson Dos Santos who had played against Wycombe so Christian Nanetti also started. The game kicked off two minutes late and soon it began to rain.

The R’s started well and Josh Parker was receiving plenty of service down the left which enabled him to torment the visitors defence. After twelve minutes, Max Ehmer played a good ball to Antonio German who ran through and belted the ball low into the net for his third goal of the Season. The visitors were creating some chances for themselves though. Bulmer made a superb save following a corner as the ball bounced down from a header.

Rushden missed a golden chance when one of their players found themselves in acres of space but with plenty of time to bury the ball, his effort was weak and hit straight at Bulmer. Rangers then had a good opportunity to increase their lead. After another good run, Parker’s cross found German well placed in the box but unfortunately he couldn’t get enough power on his shot. At the other end, a good cross was flicked goal bound but again Bulmer was equal to it and made a great save diving low and diverting it onto the post. He then made another excellent save following the corner. Half Time: 1-0

Alan Barnes surprised us during the interval by telling a rare joke. I can’t repeat it on here but you could say it was contagious ! Gareth Ainsworth had watched from the sidelines and it was good to see Bobby Ross again who took the time to come over and say hello to us. The 2nd half got underway and Terry Smith worked hard to force a corner which was taken by Christian Nanetti. Max Ehmer’s header was well tipped over the bar by the keeper. Perrin came on for Brittain and he soon brought out a superb finger-tip save. Christian Nanetti was having a purple patch, weaving runs, cutting in and taking on players which usually resulted in a foul.

Antonio German had another opportunity when he spun well in the box but put the ball wide. Rushden really should of equalised when their player had a free header, in fact there was no one within yards of him and somehow the ball hit the post and out of danger. That was a glaring miss on their part which sort of signified that the points were going to be safe for Rangers today. Nanetti left the field and on came Cyrus Vanterpool. Earlier Waters had replaced ilesanmi.

The depleted Saturday Morning Crew also included Alan Barnes, Rob Bennett and Roger Stokes. The parent/family contingent also seemed greatly reduced for some reason ? Roger had to leave before the end of the match but an R’s fan from Swindon kindly squeezed the three of us into the back of his car and then dropped us off close to Loftus Road. Bristol City will be our opponents in the FA Youth Cup at Loftus Road sometime before 13th December. Good Luck.

Steve Russell

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