Diamonds need a ‘good week’ ahead of the double-header

Nabil Shariff takes the congratulations after completing his hat-trick in AFC Rushden & Diamonds' FA Cup win over Sileby Rangers. Picture by Mike Capps/www.kappasport.co.uk
Nabil Shariff takes the congratulations after completing his hat-trick in AFC Rushden & Diamonds' FA Cup win over Sileby Rangers. Picture by Mike Capps/www.kappasport.co.uk

Andy Peaks knows AFC Rushden & Diamonds “need to have a good week” as they get ready to resume their league programme next weekend.

Diamonds picked up their first win of the season on Saturday as Nabil Shariff hat-trick and a goal from Liam Dolman sealed a 4-3 success over Sileby Rangers in the preliminary round of the FA Cup.

Despite it not being a convincing victory, it was a welcome one after Diamonds had lost their first two matches in the Evo-Stik Northern League Division One South.

Peaks is now hoping his team can get their league season firing over the bank holiday weekend with a trip to Carlton Town on Saturday being followed by a home clash against Bedworth United 48 hours later.

But he is well aware they have some work to do on the training ground over the next few days.

“We’ve got a free week so we will train twice at least and a lot of that will be based on defending,” the Diamonds manager said.

“The first win will help the morale. The mannerism wasn’t great but in football it’s all about getting the result. We’ve played a lot better than that in the past and lost.

“But we need to have a good week and be ready for two massive games next weekend.

“We will dust ourselves off from the weekend. A lot of those who are making mistakes are good players and it’s just not happening for them. We will move on and go again.”

Peaks, meanwhile, was pleased to have Ross Oulton back on the bench at the weekend following a hamstring injury.

He is set to be involved at the weekend while Joe Curtis and Jake Newman are also making progress as they remain on the sidelines.

“Joe is back doing some light stuff and Jake is probably still a couple of weeks away,” Peaks added.

“But Ross is pretty much there and I didn’t really want to use him at the weekend. I nearly had to but a week of training will do him good.

“If we can get those three back and involved then it will be another lift for us.”