kris0710

AFC Rushden and Diamonds - Back from the dead.

176 posts in this topic

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Season 8 - 2018/2019

npower Championship

October

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A fantastic start to the month, 1-0 down and down to ten men then step forward Walton. A perfect treble (header, left foot and right foot). More importantly it was a victory against a side battling towards the bottom. The next two we were off colour, well behind when scoring our single goals and heading into the Birmingham game i was worried. No need to be as we tore them apart. Goals early in each half helped and we knew that the pressure was off against Reading. Defeat ended the month but November gives us hope as we face two of the bottom three, both at home.

The injuries are clearing now with Bobbins, Smedley and Metcalfe all due back shortly. On the money side we sit with £3,000,000 in the bank and by far the lowest wage spend in the league. (£1.85m per annum compared to Rochdale £4.74m, Huddersfield £10.9m and Leicester £22.69m). Hopefully when January comes i wont have to offload a couple of top players as normal.

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Johnny Drama

The Championship is tough so don't be too downbeat!

Certainly feel like we can survive. Not conceding too many, only one team outside play-offs with better defensive record.

deltablue

Hope you move further out of trouble.

Thankyou

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Season 8 - 2018/2019

npower Championship

November

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A month where i was expecting two home wins and tow away defeats. To stay in this league i need to get points from teams around me and games where im against play-off chasers are bonus games. This went against us with a draw to bottom club Huddersfield then a thumping defeat to Bolton sunk morale. Going to sixth placed Blackpool was going to be tough and the players reacted amazingly to clinch a 1-0 win. We ended with a much needed win with our only effort on target against Rochdale. Well deserved for Piper as he has been one of our best players so far. Tommy Bobbins returned to play the last 15 mins of that game.

My name has been linked with three jobs in the Championship this month, Watford, Birmingham and Crystal Palace.

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Season 8 - 2018/2019

npower Championship

December

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Not the best of months considering we had a few home games but the two wins were great and it was up and down game with Derby. Twice behind then 3-2 up but happy with a point.

January starts with three straight away games including Preston in the FA Cup.

We picked up £4.46m from the Spencer sale. Offered the chance to sell our clause early and that amount of cash is huge for us. That the wages paid for next 3 years...Thanks Spurs!!

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Something i have not seen before

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He asked for new contract about six weeks ago, i said will do contracts at end of season. Off he went all happy then this.

Given the fact he labelled this

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I think i will keep him a little longer.

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Season 8 - 2018/2019

npower Championship

January

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Just the boost we needed. Nine points from twelve in the league leave us a massive 14 points from the bottom three and only six from the play-offs. I am not for a second hinting at a top 6 finish but we are looking great for survival.

The FA Cup brings us a good win over league rivals Preston and the reward is a trip to Premier League big boys Tottenham.

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Season 8 - 2018/2019

npower Championship

February

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Bump back down to earth. Only one point from four games has dropped us down the table but happily still 12 points from the bottom three with a game in hand. I have no problem finishing 21st at all.

The FA Cup has brought us good exposure and good money also. A trip to Spurs gave us a great win. Four goals against a top team! The draw gave us Premier side Blackburn away and despite getting played off the park we struck two late goals to come back from 3-1 down to earn a replay at Nene Park.

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Season 8 - 2018/2019

npower Championship

March

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Another month of mixed results. A fantastic home win against promotion chasing West Ham United, Aaron Smedley striking an 89th minute winner. Both the Birmingham and Huddersfield games saw us leading at the break then collasping. We were lucky Birmingham only scored two. The home defeat to Reading was our first game back at our own stadium and a sell out crowd of 6,000 were left deflated. We ended the month with a thumping win against the bottom club. Tommy Bobbins is starting to show his deadly form that has been missing for the most part.

The FA Cup is over for another year but we have been great. A tight home defeat in front of tv cameras was a deserved result but we have taken two Prem clubs all the way during this poor league run.

The final month of the season sees us safe in my eyes. Huddersfield are 13 points adrift with only 18 points to play for and a worse GD. Will look to blood a couple of youth players to see if they are good enough for next year. Its a good job we are safe as our last seven games are against six of the top seven and then 11th place! Tough run in...

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This is too easy. Getting to the Championship from the Southern League First Division Central in successive season simply doesn't happen.

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Im a tiny bit tempted...hmmm what to do?

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This is too easy. Getting to the Championship from the Southern League First Division Central in successive season simply doesn't happen.

It just has.

Im happy to report that i have not been promoted this season, finished 20th.

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The trouble is on these data updates the lower non league levels are all quite similar so easy to go up, I personally found it harder than Kris. I had 2 years in BSN, 3 years in BSP and 3 years in Championship.

Well done on staying up, the FA Cup run will have done your finances wonders! Good luck for next season

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Season 8 - 2018/2019

npower Championship

End of Season

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A promising end to the season by smashing 5th placed Cardiff, being two up in four minutes and then hammering then second placed Leeds. To round things off a great point away to the champions.

Final Position: 20th

FA Cup: 5th round replay

League Cup: 1st round

Top Scorer: Jonathan Walton (24 in 45)

Top Assists: Jon Evans (10)

Highest Ave Rating: Jonathan Walton 7.30

I have rejected Leicester and am looking for two players to improve our squad for next season. The chairman has spent £235,000 adding 500 seats to our stadium.

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The trouble is on these data updates the lower non league levels are all quite similar so easy to go up, I personally found it harder than Kris. I had 2 years in BSN, 3 years in BSP and 3 years in Championship.

Well done on staying up, the FA Cup run will have done your finances wonders! Good luck for next season

Fair enough at the lower levels, but Kris got all the way to the Championship in consecutive seasons, even winning the league every time.

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Yeah I know what you mean its pretty ridiculous to imagine that in real life, he must have just been really lucky to get a good crop of players and hold onto them

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Don't mean to be picky but i didn't win league 1, came second behind Middlesborough :p

I never expected to get straight throuh to the Championship but i have played from the United Counties League before and got straight through to the BSBP with Irchester and crowds of 110 every week. In those leagues you only need one good forward to score the goals and one good winger with around 20 assists and thats it.

As for BSBP and League 2 that is where i play most of saves so i feel i can get promoted with any club in any given season.

I'm as dismayed as any that i got straight out of league one. In January i sold three of my starting back four and went with youth but the momentum we had at the start of the season carried us through.

Starting the save my club had zero players so i had to chop and change i signed over 30 players that season. Since then i have signed just 9 players, and three of those were loans. I have been able to do this because i have filled my squad with very young players and they have come on together. That helps so so much in this game.

My squad for this season features:

1 x 23 year old (230 lge apps for me)

4 x 22 year old (659 lge apps for me)

2 x 21 year old (217 lge apps for me)

1 x 19 year old (95 lge apps for me)

3 x 18 year old (77 lge apps for me)

4 x 17 year old (91 lge apps for me)

4 x 16 year old (3 lge apps for me)

My squad is full of players with high work rate and teamwork too, would rather that than speed, composure or finishing.

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Hopefully they can carry through for you this season as well, how are your finances looking? You improved your training/youth facilities at all?

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I have £8.7m in the bank, but every year i would lose around £1.7m if it was not for player sales.

Got lucky with Spencer leaving for Spurs, the clause in it picked me up over £4m.

As for facilities i have good training and good youth, have managed to get the board to agree maximum junior coaching and youth recruitment.

I have just asked for training facilities to be improved more and they have agreed. Will take 15 months to complete and cost £2.5m!

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Season 9 - 2019/2020

npower Championship

August

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The summer saw no plyers join but three youngsters have come up from the reserve and u-18's. On the sale front my main transfer out was winger Jon Evans. For the second time i have off-loaded him for a decent fee (£875k to Nott'm Forest). Despite a good first season back with us last year his attitude is poor so took the chance to make another profit from him. Also leaving is number two keeper Colm Sinnott. At the age of 22 he has been with the club since 2013 but made just five league apps. For this we allowed him to leave for Brighton for £20k plus clauses. Twelve other players were released as the contracts expired.

The season started with a solid win over a poor Sunderland team. Three seasons on the Championship have seen them finish no higher than 11th and to be honest i am hoping Nigel Clough gets the boot as i would be interested in re-building them from top to bottom. Second half goals from Mulholland and 16 year old debutant Sutton means we hit the ground running.

The next two league games were tight matches with both ending in draws. QPR struck with just four minutes left to deny us while a stupid penalty gave away let Brighton back in the game.

A trip to the seaside was next and Blackpool were blew away with three goals in each half. A brillliant treble from Bobbins and a brace from last years top scorer Walton helped us to our biggest win since my first season in the United Counties League.

The month ended with last seasons beaten play-off semi-finalists Sheff Wed coming to the AFC Rushden Stadium. Seven points from twelve gave the owls hope of victory but second half goals from left winger Smedley and highly rated right back Shaun Mutch sealed the win.

The League Cup saw us exit after two games, without scoring a single goal. (the last time we scored in the League Cup was in August 2016) After being taken to pens against League 2 Millwall and winning 4-2 we hosted league rivals Leeds who struck deep into extra time to put us out.

After the good start i finished behind Kolo Toure and John Barnes in the Manager of the Month award whilst forward Jonathan Walton came second in the Young Player of the Month.

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Season 9 - 2019/2020

npower Championship

September

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September started with a great performance from my midfield and attack away to Birimgham but thanks to an off day by my back four we were beaten 2-1. We followed that up with a close run defeat to league leaders Fulham. Former Bayern forward Dale Jennings with the only goal.

A trip to The Valley brought a real treat for fans as we led 1-0 at half time but whatever Tal Ben-Haim said during the break worked with Charlton scoring three before the 65th minute, the third coming from former Northampton winger Micheal Jacobs. Then the fightback started and captain Gary Halford pulled one back before Bernard Asante hit the third in the 89th minute.

So just one point from nine brings the end of September but we are still nicely placed.

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Season 9 - 2019/2020

npower Championship

October

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An unbeaten month, sadly just one win though...

We started off well winning at Portsmouth with two second half goals. Our midfield played very well and restricted Pompey to very few chances. Former Portsmouth winger Piper scored our second and picked up man of the match.

Then the draws started, first with Norwich at home. A very defensive display from Alex McLeish side didnt help our game and between the sides only one shot was on target. Away to Watford brought around some goal action and Tommy Bobbins was on hand to score the second for us from all of one yard. Cracking strike.

A third straight draw was the most frustrating. Leading struggling Scunthorpe through Tommy Bobbins we were looking good for three points when the fourth official put the board up signalling 3 added minutes. In the 8th, yeah 8th minute of added time Marc Lake struck for Scunny. Gutted.

Our month ended with another dull draw, away to Crystal Palace. Very little action at either end.

This is where my problems lie. Last seasons top scorer Walton has struck just twice this season, both in the 6-0 win over Blackpool. But his overall performances give him an average rating of 7.24, bettered only by Louis Piper in my squad, and he is the 20th best player in the league this season. Dilemma.

In other news former captain Adam Fray, who was sold to Norwich in 2016 and since moved to Prem side West Brom, was called into the England squad for the first time.

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Season 9 - 2019/2020

npower Championship

November and December

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Season 9 - 2019/2020

npower Championship

January

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Not a great month...

First league game of month started well, one up. Then two goals either side of the break put us in trouble before we missed chance to level from the spot (Rogan Sutton with the miss). Eventually we did get level, 93 minutes in from Bobbins. Good point in the end.

After taking an early lead away to Sheff Wed i expected us to win but again we chucked it away ourselves. Player of the season so far, keeper Clive Baldwin, scored a comical o.g just before the break. The second half was awful all round, one shot each. Another fair result i guess.

The month ended with Blackpool at home. After stuffing them 6-0 earlier in the season was full of hope but nope......You can see the result, enough said.

The other game this month was the FA Cup defeat to Prem side West Ham. A decent performance from us but they had the edge up front. No shame in the result and the £140,000 TV money was good!

The transfer window brought a small amount of business for us. It started with a sale, promising forward Jonathan Walton was subject of a £2.1m plus clauses from Stoke City. My intention was to reject the offer but he is out of contract in 18 months and wants £10k pw to sign a new one. I cannot afford that so i accepted. Off he goes to the Premier League where he has scored in each of first two games (vs Man City and Liverpool).

To replace him i have turned the clock back ten years and brought back a former player of Rushden and Diamonds. Lee Tomlin. He has joined on loan from West ham until the end of the season.

All season we have sold out our stadium, 6558, and i attempted to ask for an expansion but sadly i have been informed that we have reached our limit with this stadium. Im totally gutted as i have another 14 years before another stadium can be built. What can i do. Its going to be tough keeping a competitive Championship side with such small imcomings.

Other news former captain Adam Fray has moved on once again, this time a £7.75m move to Liverpool from West Brom. Brilliant.

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Season 9 - 2019/2020

npower Championship

End of Season

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A pleasing season all round really. Off the field the finances are looking good as we have sold players and replaced them with other squad members and with having by far the lowest wage spend in the league but still competing is great.

On the field i am overjoyed with 11th place. Yeah the first half of the season was great and we were in or around the playoffs but survival is the main aim.

Results Feb to May

Highlights:

5-2 win away at Plymouth

3-0 at home to Crystal Palace

Lowlights:

5-1 home defeat to Wrexham

We lost 6 other games in the run in and all of them were by just one goal so other than the Wrexham game we have competitive. The season was full of draws which gives us heart that maybe will can go even better next year.

At the end of the season Championsip play-off winners Norwich lost manager Alex McLeish to West Ham and i was offered the chance to manage in the Premier League. Tempting as i was i rejected.

Stuart Pearce left the role of England manager following a 2nd round defeat to Russia in the World Cup. The replacement is Steve Eyre, the former Rochdale, Blackpool, Liverpool and Ipswich manager.

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Season 10 - 2020/2021

npower Championship

August

It has been a busy-ish summer at the AFC Rushden Stadium with two players joining and eight players leaving the club.

Departures:

Seven players left the club once their contracts had expired this summer. Six of those had not featured in the first team at all but one first teamer Billy Metcalfe, who made 107 league apps, had joined League One side Crawley.

One player has been sold and that is 19 year old prospect Brendan Bailey. He had made 38 league apps but during last season started to demand more and more first team football so it was decided to cash in as i felt i had better centre midfielders. I certainly think he could go on to a good player though. Premier League side Fulham paid £2.7m for his services.

Arrivals:

Two players have come in, one on a free and one cost £150k. The freebie was Italian midfielder Raffaele Trovo. A 20 year old had been with Parma for three years before being released in the summer. He can play across the midfield which is a plus for us. A regular in the Italy U-21 squad with 25 apps and 16 goals. Certainly expecting big things from him.

The second player to come in is an old face that i have signed before. For the second half of last season my left wingers did not give me enough and i started to regret the sale of Jon Evans to Nott'm Forest despite him seeming to have an attitude problem. After selling him for £875k with a 50% sell on fee i was staggered to be offered him back by Forest for just £150k of which we would get £75,000 of it straight back. I could not say no to that offer so Evans is back for a third spell with us.

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Not the best of starts at all. Goals are tough to come by. I will brush quickly over the League Cup as we lost on pens to League 2 side Dagenham. That after they were hammered 3-0 by Millwall on the opening day...

In the league we started with a spirted draw at home to West Ham, fresh from Premier League relegation. A 16th minute header from Robbie Cotton was enough. Next up was a trip to Wrexham where we never really got going. Two down at the break sub defender Luke Bancroft pulled one back with 12 to play but a draw never seemed likely.

The next three all ended in draws, Against Brighton nothing happend to any side really. No goals, no cards and no subs. The draw with Derby on paper looks good but there were bottom and had not scored so disappointed with only a point. The month ended with Sheff Wed, also struggling. We took a deserved lead but a brace from Graeme Kelly looked to have beat us before a late leveller from captain Gary Halford at least kept us out of the bottom three for now.

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Season 10 - 2020/2021

npower Championship

September

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A nice little month completed there. Unbeaten and found the back of the net a few times. A change in player positions has been the difference.

The month started with high flying Leeds hosting us and i have to say im gutted to have only got a point. Christian Lewis put us ahead just after the half hour and we held that lead until the 91st minute when Isacc Hayden smashed in a 25 yarder.

We had to pick ourselves up for a tough home match with Blackpool. In the previous six matches with them there has been 26 goals so i expected a few more today and thats what there was. I changed the midfield around and rested Jon Evans and played Raffa out on the left wing as opposed to the centre as he had been playing until then. What a stroke of luck as my classy Italian hit a hatrick to see off the seaside team. Two first half strikes then one straight after the break put us in control before Blackpool got one back in the 60th mimute.

A long trip to Middlesborough came next and the home side raced into 2-0 half time lead. On the hour Raffa played a one two with Innes and slid the ball into the next. With 17 mins left centre back Martin Bowyer headed in a Raffa free kick at the far post and thats how it stayed until the 90th minute. Left back Beddard played a ball down the wing and Raffa crossed for Andy Innes to blast home on the half volley. A great comeback.

The month ended with a dull draw away to Charlton. It was dull for the home side mainly as they had just 8 shots, 1 on target compared to our 21 shots, 7 on target. It seems the efforts of the last two games had taken out of my side so changes maybe coming to the line up over the next few weeks.

Raffa Trovo ended the month with the Player of the Month award and Lewis' strike against Leeds was third in Goal of Month.

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Season 10 - 2020/2021

npower Championship

October

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October started the same as normal with us at the moment, a draw. After taking the lead against high flying Cardiff we were pegged back through a Billy Tonge penalty. Overall it was a fair point in an even game and i suppose drawing with one of the bigger sides in the league should be looked at as a good result.

Next up was a trip to leaders Stoke where the difference between the sides was one make, former AFC Rushden and Dimonds forward Jonathan Walton. His two goals in the second half sealed a comfortable win for Stoke. Our second was scored by 17 year old forward Allan Lee, his first professional goal.

We then had the game of the season, the game of ten seasons.

Rushden 0 Portsmouth 1 Lambese (2) 20 yard free kick into top corner

Rushden 0 Portsmouth 2 Lambese (6) tap in from seven yards

Rushden 1 Portsmouth 2 Widdowson og (34) shot from Piper deflected in

Rushden 2 Portsmouth 2 Halford (46) Bobbins with the cross, near post header from 5 yards

Rushden 3 Portsmouth 2 Bobbins (50) Lee with the through ball, Bobbins one on one

Rushden 3 Portsmouth 3 Milton (59) right wing cross, one touch to control, left foot finish

Rushden 3 Portsmouth 4 Laing (62) corner flicked on at near post, seemed to hit Laing and bounce in

Rushden 3 Portsmouth 5 Wright (71) same as Lambese goal

Rushden 4 Portsmouth 5 Lee (81) ball into feet, turned defender and hit into top corner from edge of the box

Rushden 5 Portsmouth 5 Bobbins (85) Piper ball over the top, split the CB's and Bobbins slide home into bottom corner.

Just to add to the game we copped a fine from the FA for six bookings.

After such a goalscoring treat the fans were to be disappointed with just the one goal away at Bolton. The goal came with 17 minutes left from Boltons young sub defender Darren Stephens.

Looking for three point in the next home game against Leicester, a side i have rejected the chance to take over at. Could this game be as good as the Portsmouth game? Yes indeed.

Young midfielder Steven Breen, making his debut for me, struck after just eight minutes with a curling effort just inside the box. Tommy Bobbins then struck twice before half time although Leicester got one back inbetween. Just after the break Leicester scored agian, 3-2, from the penaty spot before further goals from Lewis and Halford put the game to bed. There was time in stoppage time for Leicester to score another through Saido Berahino.

Thats two homes games, ten scored, eight conceded.

During this month i have deny interest in Nottm Forest, Sheff Wed and Derby jobs.

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the 5-5 game looked like an epic, good luck for the rest of the season

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Certainly was! We seem to have hit a spell of goals goals in the home matches.

Once again we drawing too many games to launch a play-off bid but a run of four or five straight wins will put us right up there. Fingers crossed.

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Brilliant stuff getting through the leagues so fast :) Looks like the challenge starts now though, best of luck!

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Season 10 - 2020/2021

npower Championship

November

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We its nice to remain unbeaten during the month but yet again draws are ruining our season. Three more see us stuck right in the middle, going nowhere.

We started November well with a huge away to Birmingham. After falling behind to a 7th minute penalty we came back well with Piper heading in from a Lee cross and then man of the match Bowyer scored from 18 yards after a short free kick from Raffa. Just after the break Bobbins scored from a counter attack (think Man Utd's second against Wolves) before the game was settled by an o.g. Alan Lee completed the scoring with a free run from the half way line after another quick counter attack.

Following that great win we then struggle to a home draw against bottom club Rochdale. Luke Bancroft with the leveller for us from another Raffa free-kick. That was followed by another home draw, this time more exciting. After falling behind early on we fought back through Bobbins and a Raffa penalty. But we couldnt hold on and let Nottm Forest level before Bobbins struck again and we held that lead until the 88th minute when Zalan Horvath scored his second for Forest.

We ended the month with a credible away draw to Sheffield United but at a cost. Right back Bernard Asante suffered a broken ankle and is out for four months ruling him out of Ghana's African Nations squad.

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Season 10 - 2020/2021

npower Championship

December

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After the draws of last month we needed to pick up points and 11 from 18 is not too bad at all.

It started so well with a comfortable win over Scunthorpe and an equally easy win against Huddersfield. The trip to Plymouth needed a second half leveller from Bobbins. A typical FIFA goal, running along the edge of the box and shooting into the opposite side.

Bobbins again was the second half hero with a 79th minute winner, a reverse pass from Piper, two touch, lob over the keeper. Leading 1-0 away to Morecambe when Martin Bowyer was sent off. Within 6 minutes we were behind, the second being a 30 yard screamer. The month ended with a lucky draw at West Ham, Lewis on hand to score in the 92nd minute. Following the game West Ham sacked Alex McLeish and then i was offered the job. I rejected and the job went to Jim Bentley of Morecambe.

The FA Cup gies us a home tie with League Two high fliers Chesterfield. Win expected.

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Season 10 - 2020/2021

npower Championship

January

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A nice start to 2021 with three wins from three in the Championship. It could have been better but two home fixtures were postponed due to the weather but our league position is still good.

The league month started with a an easy away win to Brighton, both goals coming in the first half then a trip to Hillsborough saw us race into a 2-0 lead after just nine minutes. The second half was all about defending and for the last 5 minutes our formation was 6-4-0 (one of the four was in the DM position). I can honestly say thats the first time in ten years at Rushden i have played that formation.

The month ended with with a second half turn around against Derby. One down at the break apparently my team talk inspired my players and three goals set us up nicely for February

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The FA Cup gave us a comfortable home win over League Two leaders Chesterfield before the draw gave us a trip to Blue Square Bet South leaders Dover. On paper an easy tie but Dover have put out BSBP side Lewes, League Two sides Stevenage and Millwall along with Championship side Blackpool in this years FA Cup. A goaless draw ended as a poor result as we battered them 21 shots to 1, 7 on target to 0, we hit the woodwork twice and 60-40 possession. If we win the replay the reward is a home tie with Premier League Ipswich.

The transfer window has seen a little activity from us, sadly.

Leaving the club was captain Gary Halford. The 23 year old leaves for Portugese Super Liga side Braga for £1.9m plus clauses. Its a shame to lose him but he wanted to go to a bigger club and after 249 league apps and 26 goals with 30 assists i could not stand in his way.

Second choice left back Wes Beddard has joined Premier League side Bristol City in a £700,000 deal. He has featured 33 times in the first team but i really didnt see him having a great future with us although i was hoping to keep him until the summer.

Unsuprisingly the final transfer out of the club was serial leaver/arriver Jon Evans. Following the performance of youngster Breen in CM i moved Italian Raffa to the wing and after just seven games Evans decided he wanted out as he was mainly a sub. This time Blackpool decided to take a punt on him and paid £170,000 plus clauses. Overall the 24 year old has brought in the best part of £2.5m for us while i have shelled out around £425,000 bringing him back to the club. I still think he can be a good player for a good side but never settles.

Coming into the club is a youngster on loan from Arsenal, forward Elliot Hole for a month and a back up left back Rory Doyle. The 23 year old comes on a free from Reading until the summer and has previously been with Sheff Wed, Leyton O and Peterborough.

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Brilliant stuff getting through the leagues so fast :) Looks like the challenge starts now though, best of luck!

Thanls!!

Certainly does. Don't like the fact in going to be a selling club but i love bringing players through so its not all bad.

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Season 10 - 2020/2021

npower Championship

February

resultsresultsfeb21.png

resultsfeb21.png

An inconsistant month overall which started poorly against Leeds. An even, dull game until the 87th minute when Will Grigg scrambled the ball home from six yards. Not to be too upset we moved on to Blackpool away and turned being 1-0 down to 2-1 up. Within a minute of the second Blackpool levelled up. A draw looked the likely result until the 94th minute when Bobbins volleyed in from the penalty spot.

We followed that up with a poor home draw with Middlesborough. Neither side had a shot on target...Enough said. The month ended on a high with a victory over high flying, League Cup runners up Stoke. Two up at the break and cruising, Stoke got one back before top scorer Bobbins sealed the result in the 74th minute.

Well the FA Cup replay with Dover started badly, a red card for midlfielder Breen after 3 minutes, and got worse. Dover scored after five minutes and at the break we had not had a single shot. I made three changes at the break and within 54 seconds Jody Ridley was left unmarked from a free kick to head home. Now just the league to concentrate on.

Towards the end of the month Bolton (4th in Championship) lost manager Karl Robinson to Huddersfield (22nd in Championship) and i was again linked with the role. I stayed silent and six days later the offer came for me to move to the Reebok Stadium. I politley asked for time to think this over, the time i asked for was until the summer and it was agreed. I now have until the end of May to decide...Hmmm...

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Season 10 - 2020/2021

npower Championship

March

resultsmarch21.png

taBLEmarch21.png

Yet another inconsistant month from us but we given ourselves a little sniff at a play-off push.

March was a busy month starting with with a win when we should have lost (vs Wrexham) and a loss when we should have won (vs Portsmouth). A game littered with mistakes and yellow cards followed against Bolton but we shaded the game and its given everyone a lift as Bolton were placed 4th at the time.

Defeat to Leicester followed and a poor goal keeping display cost us a deserved point. I hope it doesnt prove too costly by the end of the season. We entertained Charlton next and played them off the park. I think it was the best performance of the season and im really thinking the play-offs can be reached.

Then the dream turns sour a little with two points from three games to end March. One Bobbins strike is all we have to show and im regretting not bringing in a loan forward to see us through.

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Season 10 - 2020/2021

npower Championship

April

resultsapril21.png

tableapril21.png

After the poor end to March i knew any play-off hopes would need a minimum of five wins from seven. Some how we managed six wins and now have drawn Leicester in the semi's.

The month started brilliantly, five wins, twelve goals, none conceded. I could not even pick out one player for special praise as they all performed great. Going into the Sunderland away game we needed a point to seure playoff place but depsite losing we had done enough. The final game was a dead rubber but the lads played well, just a lapse in concentration in the 89th minute left Morecambe in.

No matter what happens i have decided not to take the Bolton job. An end of season run of 2 wins from 12 dropped them from 4th to 10th.

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A great read so far. Your career is definitely been amazing in the speed of your movement up the pyramid. A playoff spot is still a real possibility this year too :)

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Play Off Semi Final First Leg

Friday 14th May 2021

AFC Rushden Stadium

Line Ups:

[TABLE]

[TR]

[TD]BALDWIN[/TD]

[TD]GK[/TD]

[TD]FLINDERS[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]MUTCH[/TD]

[TD]DR[/TD]

[TD]THOMPSON[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]DOYLE[/TD]

[TD]DL[/TD]

[TD]BENNETT[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]ASANTE[/TD]

[TD]CB[/TD]

[TD]KADAR[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]MULHOLLAND[/TD]

[TD]CB[/TD]

[TD]SHOTTON[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]TROVO[/TD]

[TD]MR[/TD]

[TD]LARRAURI[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]PIPER[/TD]

[TD]ML[/TD]

[TD]WARD[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]LEWIS[/TD]

[TD]MC[/TD]

[TD]CROFTS[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]KENNEDY[/TD]

[TD]MC[/TD]

[TD]SMALLWOOD[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]BOBBINS[/TD]

[TD]F[/TD]

[TD]ROONEY[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]HOLE[/TD]

[TD]F[/TD]

[TD]CAMPBELL[/TD]

[/TR]

[/TABLE]

GOAL!!!

6 mins - AFC Rushden and Diamonds 0 - 1 LEICESTER CITY - Centre midfielder Andrew Crofts scores from 25 yards following a passing master class from the back.

GOAL!!!

56 mins - AFC RUSHDEN AND DIAMONDS 1 - 1 Leicester City - Centre defender Bernard Asante scores from a Trovo corner at the back post.

GOAL!!!

63 mins - AFC RUSHDEN AND DIAMONDS 2 - 1 Leicester City - Winger Trovo played a ball across the box which was met by opposite winger Piper who took three touches before squeezing the ball between the near post and the diving keeper.

GOAL!!!

70 mins - AFC Rushden and Diamonds 2 - 2 LEICESTER CITY - Rooney crosses from the right, once bounce on the penalty spot and Campbell volleys in leaving tghe keeper rooted to the spot.

GOAL!!!

73 mins - AFC RUSHDEN AND DIAMONDS 3 - 2 Leicester City - Ball played into the centre from Kennedy, one touch from Bobbins, turns defender and ball slips past the keeper from 15 yards.

FULL TIME

AFC RUSHDEN AND DIAMONDS 3

LEICESTER CITY 2

Play Off Semi Final Second Leg

Tuesday 18th May 2021

King Power Stadium

Line Ups

[TABLE]

[TR]

[TD]FLATT[/TD]

[TD]GK[/TD]

[TD]BALDWIN[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]THOMPSON[/TD]

[TD]DR[/TD]

[TD]MUTCH[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]BENNETT[/TD]

[TD]DL[/TD]

[TD]DOYLE[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]KADAR[/TD]

[TD]DC[/TD]

[TD]BANCROFT[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]SHOTTON[/TD]

[TD]DC[/TD]

[TD]BOWYER[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]LARRAURI[/TD]

[TD]MR[/TD]

[TD]TROVO[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]WARD[/TD]

[TD]ML[/TD]

[TD]PIPER[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]SMALLWOOD[/TD]

[TD]MC[/TD]

[TD]KENNEDY[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]McKEE[/TD]

[TD]MC[/TD]

[TD]BREEN[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]ROONEY[/TD]

[TD]F[/TD]

[TD]HOLE[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]CAMPBELL[/TD]

[TD]F[/TD]

[TD]BOBBINS[/TD]

[/TR]

[/TABLE]

GOAL!!!

24 mins -Leicester City 0 - 1 AFC RUSHDEN AND DIAMONDS (agg 2-4) - Long ball over the top from Doyle was reached by Bobbins whose first shot was rebounded back to him, one touch to control, second touch lobs the advancing keeper from 20 yards.

GOAL!!!

53 mins -Leicester City 0 - 2 AFC RUSHDEN AND DIAMONDS (agg 2-5) - A left wing drilled corss was headed into the top corner by Trovo.

GOAL!!!

57 mins - LEICESTER CITY 1 - 2 AFC Rushden and Diamonds (agg 3-5) - Hopeful left wing cross from Ward was met by the diving head of Larrauri.

FULL TIME

LEICESTER CITY 1

AFC RUSHDEN AND DIAMONDS 2

AGG 3-5

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A great read so far. Your career is definitely been amazing in the speed of your movement up the pyramid. A playoff spot is still a real possibility this year too :)

Thanks!

Just 90 mins and Leeds United stand between me and the Premier League!

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afc rushden and diamonds vs leeds united

championship play-off final

wembley stadium

monday 24th may 2021

lineups21.png

GOAL!!

58 MINS

AFC RUSHDEN AND DIAMONDS 1

LEEDS UNITED 0

A through ball from loanee Hole straight between two defenders left Rushden's record league appearence and record league goalscorer one on one with the advancing keeper. Two touches later the ball is rolling past him and into the unguarded net.

GOAL!!

92 MINS

AFC RUSHDEN AND DIAMONDS 2

LEEDS UNITED 0

As Leeds threw men forward looking for a leveller the ball is pumped forward to Tommy Bobbins who rounded a defender on the half way line, ran to the edge of the box and shot across the keeper.

FULL TIME

AFC RUSHDEN AND DIAMONDS 2

LEEDS UNITED 0

ATTENDANCE: 65,275

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Premier League football!

Nice thread mate, at least it got harder once you got into the Championship.

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Congrats on your rise to prominence! Premiership will be very tough, good luck. How's your stadium/facilities?

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Thanks guys!

Well my stadium has a capacity of 6558 and two years ago i was told that we could not expand anymore. But following promotion i got a message saying that the stadium is being increased by 5600 to meet with league regulations. On the downside that leaves me with a capacity of 5800 ish for 7 months.

My training facilities are described as 'top' and being improved again and the youth are 'good'

My main issue is money. The building work has put me down to just £2m so it will be loanees and freebies at best to improve the squad.

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Season 11 - 2021/2022

Premier League

August

resultsaug21.png

tableaug21.png

Being such a small club in the top flight was always going to be tough and hosting two of the best teams in the country early on was not the best either. I was hopnig for one point by the end of August so we are only one from that target.

Concentration is the problem. Of the 13 goals conceded so far, 7 of them have come in either 0-5m, 41-45, 46-50m and 86-90m. The first and last five minutes are clearly a problem for us.

We started with last seasons 3rd placed side Manchester United. We were outplayed, not all suprisingly, although the second half was a tighter affair. United scored goals through Javier Hernandez, Jack Collison, Tom Cleverley and a centre back called Erik Benko who was signed from Burnley for £20.5m.

Our first away game was Burnley, amazingly finished 7th last season, and off we went to Turf Moor looking to take the game to them. Big mistake. By half time we were 5-1 down mainly down to a Charlie Austin hattrick.

The month ended with Liverpool coming to town. Morale is a little low after a couple of heavy defeats so the aim was to be more competitive but all four Liverpool goals came in the period i mentioned earlier highlighting our concentration problems.

It not all bad though, Raffa Trovo ended the month 3rd in the Young Player of the Month and Tommy Bobbins has made a good start with 2 goals in 3 Premier League games.

The League Cup gave us a tight win over a League One side. The second round sees us play Premier League side Southampton at home. This cup is not high on my list at the moment but maybe a cup run could help the confidence for the league.

The summer saw me offered the role of Premier League side Wigan. £20m to spend on transfers, £25,000 pw contract to take over the side who finished 14th last year.

On the transfer front the lack of money and stature in the game has meant i have signed nobody during the summer. It may be a mistake but all im getting is players towards the end of their career interested and no one player i went for on loan wanted to join. My scouting has been upgraded to worldwide so i will be looking closly over the coming months for players to bring in during January.

On the sales front i have lost two players to big clubs from the first team and also lost a youth teamer.

First player out was centre back Martin Bowyer. The 18 year olf played 38 times in the Championship for us last season and had attracted interest from day one. At last a club followed up that interest and Arsenal have coughed up £5.5m plus clauses. I could not stand in his way and although i would have wanted to keep him a club of this size could not turn down that kind of money.

Manchester City then opended the cheque book to sign two of my players. First up was forward Allan Lee who at 17 had played 21 league games scoring 5 times. A bid of £3.1m pkus clauses was enough to take him to the Manchester City Stadium. A week later City decided they wanted my young prospect Greg Peake. A just 16 he has played twice for me, yet to score. Offering £3.2m for an unproven player who wanted to leave after i rejected a £2m bid days before was always going to be accepted. I feel he has potential to become a good good player and hopefully his sell on fee will make the sale worthwhile.

With the fixtures for September incluing games against West Brom, Watford and Stoke i am confident we can get up and running. It will be results against these teams that decide if we stay up, not Liverpool or Manchester United results.

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Season 11 - 2021/2022

Premier League

September

resultssept21.png

tablesept21.png

Well that month could not have been much worse...

No goals, no points, hammered in the cup...

Plus points?? I know my first result of October!!!

Negatives?? Look at the results and the table.

I made a huge mistake in the summer with the lack of signings. Money is tied up in stadium and facilities but that wont help us stay in the best league in the world. I have not given up and once we get one win, another will follow. Looking at the previous seasons to stay up we will need 36 points to be sure to be safe. That feels a long way off.

Scouting is going well and i am hopeful of completing so deals shortly ready for January 1st.

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It is certainly a step up in the Prem I am finding the same thing. Hang in there mate

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The jump between the Championship and Premier Leagues is tough. I've taken clubs from the BSS up the the Premiership in other years of FM, but its always takes a few precarious years to begin to fight back. Congrats on promotion and best of luck!

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Season 11 - 2021/2022

Premier League

October

resultsoct21.png

tableoct21.png

We have our first point! Yes it only a point but its something. Off the players went for a weeks break due to internationals and came back to face Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester City.

Those three have only won 6 of last 10 Premier League titles, 5 of last 10 FA Cups, 5 of last 10 League Cups and 3 European titles between them. As expected we were generally crushed, not helped by red cards in two of the games.

Goals are hard to come by now, just two in eight games while we are conceding far too many. I have brought in two expereinced players, goalkeeper Carlos Kameni, 37 year old former Valencia and Chelsea player while 37 year old Niko Kranjcar joins after playing for Leverkusen and Liverpool. Hopefully these two will be able to help the younger players a bit.

The first ten games have brought matches against all of the current top 5 who are already looking to pull clear of the rest so hopefully the next nine games will bring alot more points as most of those matches are against sides directly above us.

A major problem is money and this is a table showing the annual wage spend of each Premier League Club

salaryoct21.png

At AFC Rushden and Diamonds we spend £103,000 pw on wages - here is a look at players that earn that a week in the Premier League

Arsenal - Stevan Jovetic, Roger Coulson, Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere and Marouane Fellani

Aston Villa - Gylfi Sigurosson and Ante Vukusic

Chelsea - David Alaba, Juan Mata and Kharun Shah

Liverpool - Eden Hazard, Simon Kjaer and Tomas Podstawski

Manchester City - Igor Nikolic, Zakaria Jaouhari, Sergio Aguero, Ganso, Bernhard Heinze, Marek Hamsik, Jano, Nathaniel Chalobah, Alberto De Muner, Georginio Wijnaldum, Moussa Mara, Samir Nasri and Marcelo

Manchester United - Yann M'Villa, Marcos Tello, Erick Torres and Gonzalo Pozzi (plus Wayne Rooney who is in reserves and not even in the Premier League squad)

Tottenham - Gareth Bale, Vladimir Weiss, Daniel Brizuela, Luis Suarez, Douglas Costa and Edinson Cavani

All of those 37 players earn more in a week that my whole club pay out in salary...

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