The previous seasons of disappointment hadn’t deterred the bookmakers and Diamonds were again rated favourites to secure the one promotion place to the Football League in 2000/01. This favourite status was reinforced by signings such as those of Justin Jackson, Duane Darby and Tarkan Mustafa to fit into a side that already included the likes of Paul Underwood, Ray Warburton, Mark Peters, Garry Butterworth and Jon Brady.
A 12-game unbeaten run at the start of the season put them in pole position, but a run of bad results, including a fighting 1-0 defeat at Luton Town in the First Round of the FA Cup, left them trailing Yeovil Town heading into Christmas. Brian Talbot came under pressure from a minority group of supporters but Max Griggs faith never wavered and he was rewarded when the team lost just one of their final 23 league games to secure promotion to the Football League, just nine short years after the club came into existence.
A key 2-0 victory over local rivals Kettering Town, achieved with 10 men away from home was followed by a tense goalless draw with Yeovil Town in Somerset, and then the title was clinched with a 2-1 victory over Chester City.
Other players that featured that season included Andy Burgess in just his second season, Shaun Carey, Jim Rodwell, Gary Setchell, Jean-Michel Sigere, Gary Mills and Stuart Gray.
The game at home to Woking on 3rd April 2001 was the 500th in the Diamonds History – see here for a reflection on that milestone.
See below for a match summary as well as links to match reports. The final league table for the season can be seen here.
See here for a detailed summary of all the games during the season, including team-line up for each game and match timings.
|Sat 19/08/00||H||Conf||Chester City||Won 2-0||Darby, Jackson||3966|
|Mon 21/08/00||A||Conf||Hednesford Town||Won 3-2||Jackson, Darby, Burgess||1516|
|Sat 26/08/00||A||Conf||Dagenham & Red||Won 2-0||Burgess, Darby||1686|
|Mon 28/08/00||H||Conf||Southport||Won 4-0||Darby, Jackson, Burgess, Brady||3574|
|Sat 02/09/00||A||Conf||Telford United||Won 2-1||Brady, Darby||1510|
|Tue 05/09/00||H||Conf||Stevenage Boro||Drew 2-2||Burgess, Jackson||4048|
|Sat 09/09/00||H||Conf||Forest Grn Rvrs||Drew 0-0||–||3352|
|Tue 12/09/00||A||Conf||Scarborough||Won 3-0||Warburton, Town, Jackson||1107|
|Sat 16/09/00||A||Conf||Woking||Won 4-1||Darby/2, Brady, Jackson||2101|
|Sat 23/09/00||H||Conf||Kettering Town||Drew 1-1||Jackson||4627|
|Tue 26/09/00||H||Conf||Dagenham & Red||Won 2-1||Burgess, Darby||3069|
|Sat 30/09/00||A||Conf||Kingstonian||Won 4-2||Darby, Brady/2, Jackson||1363|
|Tue 03/10/00||A||Conf||Leigh RMI||Lost 0-1||–||1405|
|Sun 08/10/00||H||Conf||Boston Utd||Drew 0-0||–||4570|
|Sat 14/10/00||H||Conf||Hereford Utd||Won 1-0||Jackson||4188|
|Sat 21/10/00||A||Conf||Morecambe||Lost 1-2||Sigere||1816|
|Tue 24/10/00||H||NWT2||Stevenage||Won 2-1||Sigere, McElhatton||1545|
|Sat 28/10/00||H||FAC4q||Grantham Town||Won 5-4||McElhatton/2, Underwood, Jackson, Setchell (V)||2685|
|Tue 31/10/00||H||Conf||Hayes||Won 4-0||Jackson, Wormull, Sigere/2||2568|
|Sat 04/11/00||H||Conf||Yeovil Town||Lost 1-2||Jackson||5283|
|Sat 11/11/00||A||Conf||Doncaster Rvrs||Lost 2-3||Underwood, Brady||3538|
|Fri 17/11/00||A||FAC1||Luton Town||Lost 0-1||–||5771|
|Tue 28/11/00||A||LDV1||Barnet||Lost 0-2||–||887|
|Sat 02/12/00||A||Conf||Dover Athletic||Lost 1-4||Underwood||1407|
|Sat 09/12/00||A||Conf||Hayes||Won 3-0||Jackson, Underwood, Setchell||1844|
|Sat 16/12/00||H||Conf||Hednesford Town||Won 5-1||Brady, Sigere/2, Darby/2||2906|
|Tue 19/12/00||A||NWT3||Kingstonian||Lost 0-1||–||190|
|Tue 26/12/00||A||Conf||Nuneaton Boro||Drew 1-1||Jackson||2614|
|Mon 01/01/01||H||Conf||Nuneaton Boro||Won 2-1||Brady, Darby||4080|
|Sat 06/01/01||A||Conf||Southport||Won 3-1||Jackson/2, Burgess (V)||2255|
|Sat 13/01/01||A||FAT3||Hayes||Won 1-0||Darby||750|
|Sat 27/01/01||A||Conf||Stevenage Boro||Won 2-0||Darby/2||3327|
|Sat 03/02/01||A||FAT4||Marine||Won 6-0||Darby/2, Jackson, Burgess, Rodwell, Essandoh||965|
|Sat 10/02/01||A||Conf||Forest Grn Rvrs||Drew 0-0||–||1144|
|Sat 17/02/01||H||Conf||Scarborough||Won 1-0||Burgess||3553|
|Tue 20/02/01||H||Conf||Northwich Vic||Won 2-1||Darby, Jackson||2820|
|Wed 21/02/01||A||HSCSF||Corby Town||Won 4-2||Duffy, Sale, Wormull/2||154|
|Sat 24/02/01||A||FAT5||Forest Grn Rvrs||Lost 0-2||–||1018|
|Sat 03/03/01||H||Conf||Woking||Won 2-0||Darby, Carey||3680|
|Sat 10/03/01||A||Conf||Boston United||Drew 1-1||Jackson||3434|
|Tue 13/03/01||A||Conf||Kettering||Won 2-0||Darby/2 (V)||4750|
|Sat 17/03/01||H||Conf||Kingstonian||Won 2-1||Darby/2||3842|
|Sun 25/03/01||A||Conf||Northwich Vic||Drew 0-0||–||2016|
|Sat 31/03/01||H||Conf||Leigh RMI||Drew 1-1||Sigere||3882|
|Sat 07/04/01||H||Conf||Morecambe||Won 4-1||Darby/3, Brady||3778|
|Tue 10/04/01||H||HSCF||Kettering Town||Lost 1-3||Sale||1038|
|Sat 14/04/01||A||Conf||Hereford United||Lost 1-3||og||2008|
|Mon 16/04/01||H||Conf||Doncaster Rvrs||Drew 0-0||–||4036|
|Sat 21/04/01||A||Conf||Yeovil Town||Drew 0-0||–||8868|
|Tue 24/04/01||H||Conf||Telford United||Won 3-0||Jackson, Brady, Butterworth (V)||4107|
|Sat 28/04/01||H||Conf||Dover Athletic||Won 2-1||Darby, Peters (V)||5482|
|Sat 05/05/01||A||Conf||Chester City||Won 2-1||Peters, Brady (V)||4040|
Note – those games with a (P) in the scorers column will have match photos in the report, and those with a (V) will have a link to video highlights of the game.