Jack Ashton believes AFC Rushden & Diamonds’ last-gasp NFA Hillier Senior Cup success over Kettering Town rounded off a “good season” for the club.
Despite having to field a much-changed line-up, Diamonds kept the Poppies at bay at Sixfields with Shawn Richards giving them the lead before Herve Pepe-N’Goma levelled before half-time.
But Andy Peaks’ side won it at the death with defender Ashton powering home a header in the final minute of stoppage-time to send the Diamonds fans into delirium.
It was the perfect pick-up following their Evo-Stik Southern League Division One Central play-off final defeat at St Ives Town on Bank Holiday Monday.
And Ashton, who revealed he played on after breaking a toe on his right foot 10 minutes into the clash with the Poppies, was delighted with the timing of his first goal of the season.
He said: “I probably couldn’t have picked a better time!
“I think there was about 30 seconds left so it was a great feeling to score at that point.
“To do it in front of all the fans was a great moment.
“I think people forget it was our first year in the league so I think we had a good season. We were two minutes away from getting promoted at the first attempt.
“So to get the result we did against Kettering has capped off a good season for us.”
Ashton, meanwhile, is hoping to stay at the Dog & Duck for the next campaign, which is set to see Diamonds in the new surroundings of the Evo-Stik Northern League Division One South.
“I will sit down and speak to the manager,” he added.
“But I like it here. I like everyone at the club and the fans, it’s a good place to be.”