Diamonds set for for first game at Kempston

Andy Peaks' AFC Rushden & Diamonds play Winslow United in a friendly at Kempston's Hillgrounds home tonight
Andy Peaks' AFC Rushden & Diamonds play Winslow United in a friendly at Kempston's Hillgrounds home tonight

AFC Rushden & Diamonds will play their penultimate friendly at their temporary home tonight (Wednesday).

Diamonds are set to start the new Evo-Stik South League East campaign at Kempston Rovers’ Hillgrounds home when they entertain Hanwell Town on the opening day of the season a week on Saturday.

Diamonds will be hoping to move into Hayden Road as soon as possible as work is carried out to bring it up to the appropriate standard for Step Four football.

But Andy Peaks and his players will get a feel for their temporary surroundings this evening when they take on Winslow United.

“The whole idea of this game was to ensure the players could get used to the surroundings,” Peaks said.

“The original plan had been to play Kempston but obviously we ended up in the same division as each other.

“So we will play Winslow and it will give our players a chance to play on the pitch that we will be using as our home at the start of the season.”

Peaks, meanwhile, was pleased to see summer signing Chris Dillon hit a hat-trick in Saturday’s 5-1 victory over Rushden & Higham United as Diamonds retained the Chris Ruff Memorial Cup at Hayden Road.

Ben Farrell and Luke Fairlamb were also on target but the Diamonds boss admitted it wasn’t a complete display from his team.

“I was disappointed with the first 20 minutes but we changed the system and it opened the game up for us,” he added.

“We created a lot of chances and if I am being critical, we probably weren’t as clinical as I would have liked us to be.

“But I was pleased for Chris because he’s getting back to where he wants to be and I thought we played much better in the second half. Once again there were plenty of positives for us.”