In front of almost 6,000 spectators up at Nene Park, Rushden & Diamonds 2-1 Stevenage Borough was a full-blooded, festive fight at Christmas 1999. With the Diamonds coming to Broadhall Way a week later (03 January), Richard Hill’s side headed for Northamptonshire hoping to put a dent in their promotion hopes. Our own ambitions? Well, they’d faded long before Christmas came around.

Rushden & Diamonds 2-1 Stevenage Borough: Match Details

After six straight wins at the start of the 1999-00 campaign, Boro’ had been – at very best – inconsistent. We’d gone from being unstoppable to being actually quite stoppable indeed; claiming only two league wins in September, October and November combined. December had, to be fair, started better thanks to wins at Doncaster and indoors versus Dover.

But then we lost to Woking the weekend before Christmas. FFS.

As Christmas fell on a Saturday, there was a nine-day gap until our trip to Nene Park; a big-spending club with big ambitions. Add in that (sort of) local edge and you had yourself a big crunch clash; a match that Boro’ could use to make a real statement. Ex-Diamonds forward and Boro’ goal machine Carl Alford thought so; apparently claiming he’d score two here.

Boro’ fans turned out in force. We’re 99% sure that one of the reasons Why We Bothertaking more than the 950 allocated tickets, with fans having to sit on each others’ laps – is about this game. And we’re also sure another reason – Billy Turley inciting the crowd at Nene Park – does too; the Diamonds keeper using his fingers to indicate how many people were sat on some seats. Nothing gets past him.

In the end, it was a gritty display on a bobbly pitch. Alford got one of his two promised goals. But we ended up losing thanks to late winner scored by Jon Brady. With his head! The win sent Diamonds top – but it’d end up being Kidderminster who won the title and went up.

Rushden & Diamonds 2-1 Stevenage Borough: Match Timeline

  • 1-0 – Collins (17)
  • 1-1 – Alford (60)
  • 2-1 – Brady (79)


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Pete H is the head of the BoroGuide team; helping to keep the show on the road for the best part of two decades – all because of his love of Boro'. He was relatively late to the scene; first rocking up at Broadhall Way during the 1995-6 season. But that's mainly because he was too young to pledge allegiance before then. There have been more than enough highs (Easter Monday '96) and lows (Kettering '02) since then, however, to keep him occupied. Yes, and the 2010 title win...