Diamonds finish with a win as Ridgway leaves Romans

Boss Andy Peaks was all smiles as AFC Rushden & Diamonds completed their UCL Premier Division campaign with a 3-0 win at Stewarts & Lloyds. Pictures by Andrew Carpenter

Boss Andy Peaks was all smiles as AFC Rushden & Diamonds completed their UCL Premier Division campaign with a 3-0 win at Stewarts & Lloyds. Pictures by Andrew Carpenter

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AFC Rushden & Diamonds rounded off a successful first season in the ChromaSport & Trophies United Counties League Premier Division with a 3-0 victory at bottom markers Stewarts & Lloyds.

The hosts put in an improved display on the final day of the campaign but they fell behind inside three minutes when Scott Joseph headed home Sam Brown’s cross.

Stewarts & Lloyds v AFC Rushden & Diamonds Andy Peaks

Stewarts & Lloyds v AFC Rushden & Diamonds Andy Peaks

Joe Henderson was also on target with a header before half-time and Joe Merrill rounded off the win five minutes from full-time.

Desborough Town secured a top 10 finish on the last day of the season with a fine 2-1 victory at local rivals Wellingborough Town.

Aidan Bradshaw put Ar Tarn in front but, having missed a first-half penalty, the Doughboys equalised just before the hour thanks to Nat Liburd’s volley.

However, Ian Walker’s team took the points thanks to Phil Cassidy’s goal with 10 minutes to go.

Stewarts & Lloyds v AFC Rushden & Diamonds Andy Peaks

Stewarts & Lloyds v AFC Rushden & Diamonds Andy Peaks

There has been a managerial departure at the end of the Division One season with Colin Ridgway leaving Irchester United after two years in charge at Alfred Street.

The Romans rounded off their season early last week with a 1-1 draw against Bugbrooke as they finished in 19th place.

And Ridgway’s departure was confirmed in a statement, which said: “The Committee have taken the difficult decision to make a change to the management structure of the club.

“Colin Ridgway has left the club after just over two years at Irchester.

Stewarts & Lloyds v AFC Rushden & Diamonds Andy Peaks

Stewarts & Lloyds v AFC Rushden & Diamonds Andy Peaks

“The club would like to thank Colin for his commitment and energy, but above all, helping to bring much needed stability after the turbulent 2011 season, which saw five managers in charge at Alfred Street.”

The curtain came down on the rest of the Division One season with Rushden & Higham ending a 10-match winless run with a 4-0 verdict at Thrapston Town on Friday night.

Daryl Lawman opened the scoring and Jordan Pendered doubled the advantage before half-time.

A Kaine Clinton own-goal ended the game as a contest and Lewis O’Dell added the fourth to ensure the Lankies finished on a high note.

Burton Park Wanderers finished the campaign in eighth place after they finished with a thrilling 4-4 draw with St Neots Town Saints at Latimer Park.

There was just one goal in the first half as Alfie Taylor gave Burton the advantage but two goals soon after the break put St Neots in front as Aidan McLean and Sam Spencer found the net.

Deven Ellwood equalised but Jake Leonce soon put the visitors 3-2 up and they looked like having the game won when Dan Hobbs scored their fourth with 11 minutes to go.

However, Wanderers produced an excellent late fightback as Ellwood grabbed their third and then Taylor hit his 14th goal since joining on loan from AFC Rushden & Diamonds to make it 4-4.

Raunds Town’s season ended in defeat as they went down 2-1 at Lutterworth Athletic.

Danny Laywood gave the hosts the lead but Nick Harrison levelled for the Shopmates seven minutes into the second half.

But the points stayed in Leicestershire thanks to Laywood’s second goal of the afternoon just past the hour.