Diamonds suffered final-day heartbreak as they missed out on a play-off place on goal difference.
Knowing a point, or Alvechurch failing to beat Royston, would be enough to secure at least fifth place, they looked nervous throughout and Nuneaton played with the freedom of already being safe. Dean Snedker made an early save, Nathan Thsikuna blocked a goalbound strike and away striker Luke Benbow saw a bobbling effort easily held. Rushden briefly threatened through Will Jones’ header that was comfortably saved, but the away side then took the lead when Charlie Dowd’s half-volley found the net via the inside of the post. They should have doubled their advantage shortly afterwards when Anthony Dwyer was denied, and Cain Noble’s follow-up effort flashed narrowly wide.
After Snedker made a crucial save early on in the second half, Rushden upped the pressure after Alvechurch came from behind to lead. Paddy Casey’s header across was just cleared, a Connor Furlong corner somehow evaded a sea of players, Tshikuna fired a free-kick over and Liam Dolman shot over from close-range, though the offside flag was raised. Over seven minutes of additional time were played, and Jones almost scrambled home a dramatic equaliser, but Diamonds couldn’t find a goal as their season ended in devastation.
Full match report to follow…
|Man of the Match
|Sat, 23rd Apr, 2022
|Southern League Premier Division Central
|Assistant Referee 1
|Assistant Referee 2
|Hayden Road Sports Ground, Hayden Road, Rushden, Northamptonshire NN10 0HX