Rushden’s season ended in a perfect fashion: a large crowd, a great atmosphere, and a credible point against the league leaders. With nothing for either team to play for, the match was played out in good humour and in a party atmosphere, helped considerably by the 800+ Aldershot fans, who were determined to make the most of their last game in the BSP!
Sam Smith grabbed his first professional goal, while Lawrence Lambley would almost certainly have given the Diamonds all three points had he not been fouled by Anthony Straker (whose challenge earned him a red card). Jake Beecroft also made his second proffesional appearence, coming on with 10 minutes to go.
“Today was really good, in my opinion. Good atmosphere in the home and away ends, and we did really well. At times it was easy to see why we were top of the league, but we more than matched them for periods.”
“The atmosphere was great and an evening kick-off was very cool.”
“Good end to the season, would have loved to have won it though.”
“Sad the season’s all over even if it has been a mostly poor season… can’t wait to see who we get in pre-season friendlies and who we sign in the summer.”
“Who else is bored? When are the fixtures out?”
Comments linked from the Diamonds forum
46 games, and 8ish months after the season started with a 1-1 draw away at Woking, Rushden finished their season in the same fashion. The top-scorer (in all competitions) was Michael Rankine, who scored 19. Simeon Jackson was second with 18.
Jon Challinor was just one appearence away from having played in all 46 league games this term, but injury forced him out of yesterday’s tie. Nonetheless, he was the Diamonds most capped player this term, earning 47 appearences in all competitions.
As predicted by RDFC Fans’ in early April, Droylsden, Stafford and Alty all were relegated this term. Weymouth defied our predictions by staying up, with Farsley Celtic’s dreams of going full-time shattered by taking their place in the bottom four.
To say the season was a success would not be correct; indeed, to deem it an enjoyable campaign would, in most definitions of the word, also be false. Nonetheless, the campaign did have its moments… As the OS states, while the team have been inconsistent and infuriating at the best of times, memories of Kelly’s goal against Bristol, Rankine’s wonderstrike against Aldershot, and the unlikely win against Macclesfield in the FA Cup, will be enough to get the Rushden fans through the bleak summer months.