One more big effort needed as Diamonds bid for the play-offs

Liam Dolman celebrates scoring the winning goal in AFC Rushden & Diamonds' 1-0 win over Newcastle Town, which kept them firmly on course for the play-offs
Liam Dolman celebrates scoring the winning goal in AFC Rushden & Diamonds' 1-0 win over Newcastle Town, which kept them firmly on course for the play-offs
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Liam Dolman wants his AFC Rushden & Diamonds team-mates to produce “one more big performance” to secure their play-off place.

Diamonds head into the final day of the regular season in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Division One South in pole position to clinch the final play-off spot.

A 1-0 win over Newcastle Town last Saturday, which saw Dolman score the only goal, was followed by a 1-1 draw at Stamford on Easter Monday but that was enough to keep Andy Peaks’ side a point clear of both Basford United and Newcastle.

Basford host Newcastle tomorrow and will be waiting for a slip but Diamonds will be heavy favourites as they take on lowly Carlton Town in what will be their final game at the Dog & Duck before their temporary move to Kempston Rovers at the start of next season.

Should Diamonds claim the win they need, they will travel to runners-up Witton Albion in the play-off semi-final next Tuesday night.

And while influential defender Dolman was disappointed not to secure victory at Stamford on Monday, he is pleased Diamonds have their fate in their own hands on the final day.

He said: “To be brutally honest, we should have won at Stamford.

“We had the chances to make sure the game was over.

“But we have to move on and it’s going to be tough on Saturday because Carlton held Basford on Monday.

“It’s all to play for and we know what we have to got to do.

“I think we have shown a bit of character recently because I think there have been a few people doubting us over the last six weeks.

“We know we should not be in this situation.

“But we are happy we have things in our own hands and one more big performance will hopefully take us to where we want to be. And once you are in the play-offs, it becomes a lottery.”