A season that ultimately began with a friendly against Brackley in July, and ended, 9 months later, with a match against the same team, has come to a close. 62 competitive games (including 16 cup matches: surely a club record?), 166 goals, and the first time we have finished above the relegation zone for two consecutive years since our Division 3 winning year of 2003. We’ve said goodbye to Simeon Jackson, and Wayne Hatswell, and said hello to dwindling crowd numbers, and something resembling mid-table comfort.
A season that never really got going, inconsistency was again the crime. Should Rushden’s 9-game unbeaten run early in the season had produced less draws and more wins (3W 6D) Rushden could have avoided having to play catch-up with the play-off pack for the majority of the season. While the season did bring some good moments, it is the bad ones (Stevenage on Boxing Day, granting Northwich their first win of the season in November) that is likely to be remembered.
CUPS, CUPS, AND MORE CUPS.
As already stated, Rushden enjoyed a 16-game cup campaign this term. Taking part in the FA Cup, FA Trophy, Setanta Shield, and the Hillier Cup, the Diamonds had more than ample distraction from their stuttering league season. Rushden also enjoyed much more success in these cups: becoming the only non-league club in the First Round of the FA Cup to beat a league club; earning Soccer AM’s goal-of-the-game in the next round; scoring two late goals to put us through to the quarter-finals of the FA Trophy; seeing Tom Shaw’s wonder-striker beat the Cambridge United goal-keeper in the first round of the Setanta Shield; scoring 15 goals in 4 Hillier Cup games on the way to retaining the trophy; and, finally, seeing the most beautiful, graceful, audacious strike ever to grace British football.
Game of the Season
5-0 over Oxford at Nene Park. Burgess’ shot beating Billy Turley (via two defenders legs), Simeon Jackson grabbing a brace, a great atmosphere and a decidedly peeved off looking Bald Eagle all combined to give those present their most enjoyable evening for seasons.
The electric 3-3 extr-time Stenata Shield tie with Aldershot also should be up there among the best games of the season.
Down-point of the season
0-1 against Northwich? 1-2 against Stevenage? Rankine’s miss against York in the FAT? 1-4 vs. Crawley? i could go on.
Player of the Season
Andy Burgess. Overtaking Billy Turley in the all-time appearence list, and moving his way up to 3rd in said list at the end of the season, capped off a briliant campiagn for our prodigal son. Winning the Press POTY, Fans’ POTY and well as the Official Club POTY is no mean feat. Hinting at wanting to stay at Nene Park for more season to come is just the icing on the cake.
Dissapointment of the season
Neither Lee Tomlin nor Michael Rankine have matured into regular goal scorers, as was hoped.
Surprise of the Season
Ted lasted until well into the season before being banned from The Diamonds Forum
Best-legs-of-the-season award, sponsored by Diamondsforever…
Phil Gulliver 😉
Djibril Cisse haircut of the season…
Dean Howell. Don’t try this at home.
Peter Crouch dance celebration award goes to…
Simeon Jackson (link). Keep your day job, mate!
“Taxi” of the season.
See “Djibril Cisse haircut of the season”…
A SPECIAL SHOUT OUT TO…
Dazzler. If a picture paints a thousand words, well, Dazzler had helped a lot this term. Supplying upwards of 1200+ match photos to be used on the blog, he has given the site one of its more popular features. On behalf of all the readers, thanks a lot, mate.
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