As a result of relegation the club decided not to renew Barry Hunter’s contract as Manager whilst many players were also released prior to the start of the 2006/07 season. A total of thirteen senior players left the club including Player of the Year Phil Gulliver and top scorer Drewe Broughton. Former Nottingham Forest and Barnsley Manager Paul Hart, was appointed First Team Manager on 23rd May 2006. In addition the high profile names of Ian Bowyer, Ian Woan and Tony Godden were also brought in as back room staff. With only a short list of players retained, Paul Hart signed Glenn Wilson, Paul Watson, Jon Ashton, Chris Hope and Leo Fortune-West early in the pre-season period, while Michael Rankine and Nicky Eyre both signed shortly before the season began after successful trial periods at the club, with Eyre becoming the third senior keeper on the club’s book along with Scott Tynan and Danny Crane.
The Diamonds started the season poorly with defeats to Crawley Town and Grays Athletic, and after a 4-1 defeat to Northwich Victoria, and with only 4 wins in the first 16 games Paul Hart and his management paid the price for the Club’s poor league position, with Tony Godden taking temporary charge as Caretaker Manager.
Tony’s first game in charge saw a respectable 1-1 draw away at Weymouth and although the side lost in the League to Dagenham & Redbridge, St. Albans and Aldershot, the club progressed to the Second round of the FA Cup after beating League One side Yeovil Town 3-1.
On 22nd November 2006 the Supporters Trust handed over control of Rushden & Diamonds, and the Nene Park facilities they controlled, to Keith Cousins, who made a loan to cover short-term debts and became the new Club Chairman.
Following Mr Cousin’s arrival the club sought a new manager, with Graham Westley being appointed on Monday 18th December 2006 prior to the Club’s busy Christmas schedule.
After results picked up, and Conference safety looked certain, Graham Westley left the club by mutual consent to be replaced by Garry Hill, the former Weymouth and Dagenham & Redbridge manager, appointed at the end of February 2007.
Garry’s side finished the season in 12th place on 62 points. Over the summer players such as Curtis Woodhouse, Martin Foster, and former Diamond players Jon Challinor, Andy Burgess and Phil Gulliver were brought in to strengthen the team, with the aim of a push for in the newly renamed Blue Square Premier in the 2007/08 season.
The game at St Albans on 18th November 2006 was the 800th 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 12/08/06||A||Conf||Crawley Town||Lost 0-1||–||1088|
|Tue 15/08/06||H||Conf||Grays Athletic||Lost 1-3||Rankine||2015|
|Sat 19/08/06||H||Conf||Forest Green Rovers||Won 2-0||Chillingworth, Jackson||1693|
|Sat 26/08/06||A||Conf||Southport||Won 2-1||Chillingworth, Watson||1083|
|Mon 28/08/06||H||Conf||York City||Lost 0-1||–||2416|
|Fri 01/09/06||A||Conf||Kidderminster Hrs||Drew 0-0||–||1850|
|Sat 09/09/06||H||Conf||Altrincham||Won 3-0||Jackson/3||1680|
|Tue 12/09/06||A||Conf||Tamworth||Won 4-1||Jackson/3, Ashton||1105|
|Sat 16/09/06||A||Conf||Stafford Rangers||Drew 1-1||Hope||1054|
|Tue 19/09/06||H||Conf||Gravesend & Nft||Drew 0-0||–||1879|
|Sat 23/09/06||A||Conf||Woking||Lost 0-3||–||2084|
|Sat 30/09/06||H||Conf||Burton Albion||Lost 1-2||Kelly||2179|
|Tue 03/10/06||A||Conf||Morecambe||Lost 0-1||–||1252|
|Fri 06/10/06||H||Conf||Stevenage Borough||Drew 2-2||Hatswell, Hope||2309|
|Tue 10/10/06||H||Conf||Halifax Town||Lost 0-1||– (P)||1839|
|Sat 14/10/06||A||Conf||Northwich Victoria||Lost 1-4||Jackson (P)||853|
|Tue 17/10/06||H||NHSC1||Cogenhoe Utd||Won 2-1||Langdon, Lambley||133|
|Sat 21/10/06||A||Conf||Weymouth||Drew 1-1||Tomlin||2148|
|Sat 28/10/06||H||FAC4q||Altrincham||Won 3-0||Tomlin, Shaw, Jackson||1509|
|Tue 31/10/06||A||NHSC QF||Ford Sports, Dav||Won 2-1 AET||og, Rankine||86|
|Sat 04/11/06||H||Conf||Dagenham & Rdge||Lost 2-3||Kelly, Watson||2039|
|Sat 11/11/06||H||FAC1||Yeovil Town||Won 3-1||Hope, Rankine/2||2530|
|Sat 18/11/06||A||Conf||St.Albans||Lost 2-3||Tomlin, Kelly||1236|
|Sat 25/11/06||H||Conf||Aldershot Town||Lost 0-1||–||2128|
|Sat 02/12/06||H||FAC2||Tamworth||Lost 1-2||Shaw||2815|
|Sat 09/12/06||H||Conf||Oxford United||Won 1-0||Woodhouse||3270|
|Sat 16/12/06||H||FAT1||Scarborough||Won 3-2||og, Hope, Woodhouse||1152|
|Tue 26/12/06||A||Conf||Cambridge United||Won 1-0||Kelly||3000|
|Sat 30/12/06||A||Conf||Gravesend & Nflt||Lost 0-1||–||1110|
|Mon 01/01/07||H||Conf||Tamworth||Drew 1-1||Savage||1872|
|Sat 06/01/07||A||Conf||Altrincham||Lost 1-2||Tomlin||1111|
|Sat 13/01/07||A||FAT2||Witton Albion||Won 1-0||Tomlin||602|
|Sat 20/01/07||H||Conf||Stafford Rangers||Won 2-1||Cook, Jackson||1837|
|Tue 23/01/07||H||Conf||Cambridge Utd||Won 3-1||Jackson, Beardsley, Rankine||2239|
|Mon 29/01/07||A||Conf||Oxford United||Won 1-0||Beardsley||5654|
|Sat 03/02/07||A||FAT3||Gravesend & Nflt||Lost 1-2||Rankine||1127|
|Tue 06/02/07||H||HSCSF||Rothwell Town||Won 1-0||Rankine||260|
|Sat 10/02/07||A||Conf||Dagenham & Rbde||Won 2-1||Jackson, Hope||1817|
|Sat 17/02/07||H||Conf||St.Albans||Won 1-0||Maamria||2488|
|Tue 20/02/07||A||Conf||Exeter City||Drew 0-0||–||3135|
|Sat 24/02/07||A||Conf||Aldershot Town||Drew 2-2||Jackson, og||2189|
|Sat 03/03/07||H||Conf||Exeter City||Won 3-0||Jackson, Albrighton, Woodhouse||2344|
|Tue 06/03/07||H||Conf||Morecambe||Drew 2-2||Rankine, Kelly||1701|
|Tue 13/03/07||A||Conf||Halifax Town||Drew 0-0||–||1314|
|Tue 20/03/07||A||HSCF||Woodford United||Won 4-1||Tomlin, Beardsley/3||298|
|Fri 23/03/07||H||Conf||Crawley Town||Drew 1-1||Tomlin||1974|
|Tue 27/03/07||A||Conf||Grays Athletic||Lost 1-3||Jackson||762|
|Sat 31/03/07||A||Conf||Forest Green Rvrs||Won 2-0||Jackson, Ashton||1110|
|Tue 03/04/07||H||Conf||Weymouth||Won 4-1||Williams, Albrighton, Rankine/2||1623|
|Sat 07/04/07||H||Conf||Southport||Lost 2-3||Jackson, Rankine||2122|
|Tue 10/04/07||A||Conf||York City||Lost 1-3||Jackson||2955|
|Sat 14/04/07||H||Conf||Kidderminster Hrs||Lost 0-1||–||1925|
|Tue 17/04/07||A||Conf||Stevenage Borough||Lost 0-1||–||1715|
|Sat 21/04/07||H||Conf||Woking||Won 2-0||Rankine, Jackson||1922|
|Mon 23/04/07||H||Conf||Northwich Victoria||Won 1-0||Woodhouse||1533|
|Sat 28/04/07||A||Conf||Burton Albion||Won 2-1||Jackson, Woodhouse||2910|
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.