Diamonds must have ‘no regrets’ as they go for play-off glory

Andy Peaks says his AFC Rushden & Diamonds players must have no regrets following today's play-off final at St Ives

Andy Peaks says his AFC Rushden & Diamonds players must have no regrets following today's play-off final at St Ives

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“Leave nothing out there and have no regrets.”

That’s the final advice AFC Rushden & Diamonds boss Andy Peaks will give to his players when they go for play-off glory this afternoon (3pm kick-off).

Diamonds make the short trip to ProEdge Westwood Road to take on St Ives Town in the Evo-Stik Southern League Division One Central play-off final.

A place in next season’s Premier Division awaits the winners while the losers will face another campaign at the same level.

Diamonds, who finished in the final play-off position during the regular campaign, earned their place thanks to a superb 2-1 victory at Royston Town last Tuesday.

St Ives, who have home advantage after they finished fourth, booked their spot after a dramatic penalty shoot-out success at Egham Town following a 2-2 draw.

The season has come down to 90 minutes, and extra-time and penalties if they are required.

And Diamonds boss Peaks has urged his team to grasp their opportunity to earn a second successive promotion.

“The players must leave nothing out there and come back into the dressing-room after the game with no regrets,” he said.

“If we play with the same commitment and passion that we did at Royston and that’s not enough to beat St Ives then I will shake all my players’ hands and we will go again.

“I think we are capable of winning the game but we have to perform to our best.

“The season has come down to one game, it’s a cup final and we have to be focused.

“This is what we have worked every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday for and anyone who can’t get themselves up for this sort of game really shouldn’t be playing.

“The most important thing is making sure there are no regrets. We have to do everything we can to finish the job and hopefully that will be enough.”

Find all the details from Diamonds’ big day on this website and in Thursday’s Northamptonshire Telegraph.

And follow our football reporter Jon Dunham on Twitter @JonDunhamNT for live updates of the game at ProEdge Westwood Road from 3pm this afternoon.