Hednesford Town ended their pre-season campaign on a high note thanks to two second half goals from striker Tristian Dunkley.
Just ahead of the game it was announced that Sean Geddes, who had impressed in a previous friendly game, had agreed a deal with the Pitmen for the forthcoming campaign.
He was lively throughout the first period seeing a snap shot go just wide and a second effort being palmed away by Rushden goalkeeper Matt Finley.
At the other end the visitors offered little going forward, although striker Jake Newman did see a half chance blocked by James Mutton, with it not testing Dan Crane in the Pitmen goal.
But it would be Rushden that would go closest to opening the scoring five minutes into the second period when, following a free-kick, the ball fell to Liam Dolman who turned and shot in one motion – only to see his effort strike the crossbar.
As the half progressed, a flurry of substitutes were used by both sides and it was one of these that opened the scoring in the 62nd minute. After being on the field just a matter of minutes Dunkley managed to find himself with room inside the visitors’ box and he coolly finished from six yards.
Six minutes later the Pitmen doubled their lead when a ball forward from Calum Flanagan saw Dunkley through on goal on the left-hand side and after composing himself he was able to find the far corner of the net to grab his second of the game.
Fellow substitute Danny Glover saw a header claimed by the Rushden goalkeeper and then another effort just taken off his head, but in the end the two goals from Dunkley would be enough for Liam McDonald’s side to end their pre-season campaign on the winning front ahead of the visit of Spennymoor Town to Keys Park next Saturday.
Hednesford Town: Crane, Thompson, Flanagan, McGrath, Mutton, Francis, Maye, Geddes, Matthews, Sammons, Logan
Subs: Ransome, Dunkley, Singh, Thorley, Bramall, Williams, Martin, Brown
AFC Rushden & Diamonds: Finlay, Bradshaw, Brown, Harris, Dolman, Leslie, Bunting, McNulty, Newman, Shariff, Oulton
Subs: Orose, Haynes, Parsons, Lorraine, Jackson, Harvey, Ashton