Diamonds Reach the Century Milestone

The FA Cup victory over Bedford Town on Tuesday 2nd September was AFC Rushden & Diamonds 100th Senior Game.

To recognise this milestone, Diamonds fan and Radio Diamonds contributor Doug Palmer has looked back at these games, and his words and stats are supported by further stats provided by Dave Mason who compiles the set of official club stats which appear on this website. The narrative is followed by a sample of 100 pictures from those games taken by Diamonds Match Photographer Mal Swinden, along with support from Stephanie Webb.

Season 1 – 2012/13

The very first match for the newly formed Diamonds was on Aug 18th 2012 at the Dog and Duck v Thrapston Town in the UCL First Division resulting in a 3-0 win for the home side, with Alfie Taylor having the honour of becoming the clubs first ever goalscorer. The 784 crowd that witnessed that game went home happy and full of optimism for the future of their club. 

The starting X1 that day were: Quincy Shorunmu, Joe Merrill, Sam Brown, Chris Hope, Aynsley MacDonald, Jack Wisniewski, Sean McBride, Elliot Dent, George Cox, Alfie Taylor and Deven Ellwood.

In that first season Diamonds were promoted as runners up to Northampton Sileby Rangers just ahead of Oadby Town and Eynesbury Rovers. There were some very memorable matches played against these teams most notably the 1-0 win at Sileby. It took an Alex Deakin goal and a superb goalkeeping display by Quincy Shorunmu to inflict the first defeat upon Sileby.

The home match against Oadby Town was watched by 827 fans, and Diamonds finished that season unbeaten at home.

The match at Hayden Road against Rushden and Higham Utd was memorable for hosting the biggest attendance, to date, of any Diamonds match. Many in the 1157 crowd must have been dreaming of the day that the Diamonds might return to a permanent home in that area.

Diamonds also made their debut in the FA Vase finally losing in the dying moments away to Ashington after wins over Fakenham(4-1) Yaxley (2-1) and Basford (5-3) in the earlier rounds.

Season 2 – 2013/14

Season 2013/14 saw the club playing in the Premier Division of the UCL and also making their debut in the greatest of all competitions – the FA Cup.

The club finished a creditable third in their first season at Step 5 level, behind Huntingdon Town and Spalding United, but the Diamonds once again inflicted the first defeat of the season on the eventual champions in a 2-1 away victory.

It was to be in the national competitions that the club made its mark, battling through fourteen matches in the FA Vase and FA Cup.

In the FA Cup despite being drawn away from home for the first 3 rounds, victories over London Colney,(1-1, 6-1) Northwood (2-1) and Cockfosters (2-2, 8-0) were rewarded with a home tie against Cambridge City of the Southern League Premier Division. A crowd of 815 enjoyed a dramatic late winner from Taylor in the 3-2 triumph.

A trip to Dover of the Conference South, later to be promoted to the Conference Premier, proved a bridge too far as Diamonds lost 1-3.

Expectations of a trip to Wembley in the FA Vase were cruelly shattered by little known St Andrews from the Leicester area, who won 2-0 at the Dog and Duck in front of a record crowd of 948, but once again not before some thrilling goal-laden matches in the competition against AFC Dunstable (1-1, 3 1) Hoddesden (5-1) Woodford (6-0) AFC Wulfrunians (4-2 aet) and Graham St Prims (2-0).

Season 3 – 2014-15

Season 3 has begun with two League wins as well as victory in two FA Cup ties, including a victory over Step 4 Bedford Town to mark the 100th Senior fixture.

The 100 matches can be summarised as follows:

Competition

P

W

D

L

F

A

UCL (Prem and First)

74

56

9

9

190

68

FA CUP

10

6

3

1

32

12

FA Vase

11

8

1

2

33

14

League Cup / NFA Cup

5

1

0

4

11

13

Totals

100

71

13

16

266

107

 

Diamonds have faced 50 different opponents during those 100 games and only failed to score in 3 and kept a “clean sheet” in 32.

The longest unbeaten sequence was 27 matches from 8.1.13 – 28.8.13 and the longest sequence without a win just 4 games.

The biggest away win was the 9-0 thumping of Buckingham and the biggest home victory was 8-0 v Cockfosters in the FA Cup when Russ Dunkley scored five headed goals and earned himself a trip to Wembley courtesy of the sponsors.

Diamonds heaviest defeat was 1-5 at Oadby in our first season and our first home defeat was against Peterborough Northern Star last year.

47 players have appeared in the starting line up with a further 6 making substitute only appearances, with Chris Hope(40) being the eldest and Noah Bryant (16) the youngest.

Sam Brown has played in 87 matches. Followed by Alfie Taylor (77) Sean McBride(76) Matt Gearing (76) and Joe Merrill (74)

Alfie Taylor is still the top goal scorer with 50, followed by Fazel Koriya 27, Matt Gearing 25 and Russ Dunkley 23

Considering the number of goals scored over these 100 games it is surprising that only four players have recorded a hat trick, or more in the case of Russ Dunkley with his 5 goals against Cockfosters in an FA Cup replay. The others being Fazel Koriya twice, Alfie Taylor and Jake Newman with the first ever.

The disciplinary record shows that 87 yellow cards and 7 red cards have been issued, shared between 25 different players.

Biggest home attendance (948) 19 January 2014 St.Andrews (FAV)

Biggest away attendance (1157) 6 October 2012 Rushden & Higham United

Lowest home attendance (255) 1 October 2013 Wellingborough Town (HSC)

Lowest away attendance (150) 21 December 2013 Boston Town

 The 53 players to have worn a Diamonds shirt in a competitive senior game are as follows:-

Player

 

First / Last game

App

Lge

FAC

FAV

Other

 

Goals

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2012/2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 1 / 369)

Quincy Shorunmu (GK)

( 18.8.12- current)

33

26

4

3

 

 2 / 370)

Joe Merrill

( 18.8.12- current)

74

54

7

11

2

 

3

 3 / 371)

Sam Brown

( 18.8.12- current)

87

66

9

10

2

 

2

 4 / 372)

Elliot Dent

( 18.8.12- 1.10.13)

25

15

4

4

2

 

1

 5 / 236)

Chris Hope

( 18.8.12-  4.5.13)

37

30

4

3

 

4

 6 / 281)

Aynsley McDonald

( 18.8.12-23.10.12)

11

8

2

1

 

 7 / 373)

Jack Wisniewski

( 18.8.12-15.10.13)

48

34

4

5

5

 

17

 8 / 374)

Sean McBride

( 18.8.12- current)

76

58

4

10

4

 

8

 9 / 375)

Alfie Taylor

( 18.8.12- 22.3.14)

77

61

7

8

1

 

50

10 / 376)

Deven Ellwood

( 18.8.12- 11.1.14)

32

27

3

2

 

4

11 / 302)

George Cox

( 18.8.12- 3.11.12)

9

5

2

2

 

12 / 377)

Ben Morgan

( 18.8.12- 11.4.14)

54

44

1

5

4

 

11

13 / 378)

Alex Deakin

( 18.8.12- 22.2.14)

57

42

5

7

3

 

13

14 / 379)

Jamie O’Grady

( 18.8.12- 29.9.12)

3

2

1

 

15 / 380)

James Allcock

( 25.8.12)

1

1

 

16 / 381)

Peter Okechukwu

( 25.8.12- 12.1.13)

12

10

1

1

 

17 / 382)

Troy Johnston

( 25.8.12)

1

1

 

18 / 383)

Jamie Gilsenan

(  1.9.12-  1.1.13)

16

10

3

3

 

2

19 / 384)

Jake Newman

(  8.9.12-  4.5.13)

37

31

4

2

 

26

20 / 385)

Louis Smith

(  8.9.12- 24.9.13)

11

7

4

 

21 / 386)

Ashley Foulger (GK)

( 18.9.12- 26.3.13)

9

7

2

 

22 / 353)

Jake Gillingwater

( 18.9.12- 18.3.14)

52

38

3

6

5

 

5

23 / 387)

Liam Bond

( 29.9.12- 24.9.13)

2

2

 

24 / 388)

Alex McDonald

( 29.9.12- current)

3

1

2

 

25 / 389)

Noah Bryant

( 29.9.12- 29.3.14)

2

1

1

 

26 / 390)

Matt Gearing

( 6.11.12- current)

76

62

6

7

1

 

25

27 / 391)

Lance Allen

( 6.11.12-22.10.13)

32

24

5

1

2

 

8

28 / 392)

Jake Reynolds

( 6.11.12)

1

1

 

29 / 393)

Brad Harris

(  1.1.13- current)

69

53

9

6

1

 

2

30 / 356)

Aaron King

( 12.1.13- 25.2.14)

52

39

5

7

1

 

8

31 / 394)

Arron Parkinson

( 23.2.13- current)

38

28

5

3

2

 

4

32 / 395)

Tom Cross (GK)

(  6.4.13- 18.1.14)

43

30

7

6

 

33 / 396)

Jamal Clarke

( 10.8.13- current)

38

26

7

5

 

1

34 / 397)

Russ Dunkley

( 10.8.13- current)

45

29

9

7

 

23

35 / 398)

Fazel Koriya

( 10.8.13- current)

48

33

7

7

1

 

27

36 / 212)

Daniel Grainger

( 17.8.13- 20.8.13)

2

2

 

37 / 399)

Nat Liburd

( 20.8.13-29.10.13)

18

6

6

4

2

 

1

38 / 400)

Rashid Koriya

( 24.9.13-28.12.13)

3

2

1

 

39 / 401)

Mason Thomas

( 24.9.13)

1

1

 

40 / 402)

Kyle Davison-Gordon

( 1.10.13)

1

1

 

41 / 403)

Adam Whybrow (GK)

(19.10.13)

1

1

 

42 / 404)

Richard Bunting

(16.11.13- current)

22

17

3

2

 

2

43 / 405)

Greg Ling

(16.11.13- current)

28

23

2

3

 

44 / 406)

Joe Henderson

(21.12.13- current)

23

19

3

1

 

2

45 / 407)

Matt Finlay (GK)

( 22.2.14- current)

18

15

3

 

46 / 408)

Ryan Walker

(  8.3.14- 15.3.14)

3

3

 

47 / 409)

Jack Ashton

( 22.3.14- current)

11

8

3

 

1

48 / 410)

Tom Lorraine

( 29.3.14- current)

8

7

1

 

3

49 / 411)

Scott Joseph

( 29.3.14- 26.4.14)

5

5

 

5

50 / 412)

Liam Dolman

( 12.8.14- current)

5

2

3

 

51 / 413)

Elliott Lamb-Johnson

( 12.8.14- current)

4

1

3

 

52 / 414)

Jason Turner

( 12.8.14- current)

5

2

3

 

3

53 / 415)

Adam Confue

( 12.8.14- current)

4

2

2

 

1

 

Who knows where the next 100 will take us, but for sure we will still have our club and even more great memories.

 

The pictures in the Century Match Gallery are courtesy of Malcolm Swinden Photography (click on the link to access the Diamonds Photo Gallery for these and more images and ecommerce options). Copyright Mal Swinden ©2012-14, with further pictures courtesy Stephanie Webb.
 
The pictures are in chronological order, and have captions to put them into context. For further information see the season summaries for 2012-13 or 2013-14 
 

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