Despite having their fair share of ball possession on Saturday, champions Aldershot were unable to break down an obstinate Rushden defence.
The first half ended goalless and Rushden’s Sam Smith had a glorious opportunity to open the scoring in the 31st minute only to see his 12-yard effort somehow go wide of the right-hand post.
The deadlock was finally broken by the Diamonds in the 65th minute when Smith made up for his earlier miss by firing a left-footed shot into the bottom-right corner from 12 yards out.
The match seemed to spring into life after the opener and the Shots were awarded a penalty in the 70th minute when Michael Corcoran was adjudged to have fouled Joel Grant in the penalty area.
John Grant stepped up to take the resulting spot kick and powered it into the bottom-left corner.
With the match heading into injury time, Aldershot’s Anthony Straker was shown a straight red for a foul on Lawrence Lambley.
However, it did not affect the end result as the final whistle was blown by referee Scott just a few minutes later.
Rushden bookings: Hope 18.
Aldershot bookings: Soares 37.
Sent off: Straker 90.
Ref: G Scott.