Peaks’ delight as Diamonds storm back to the summit

Andy Hall and Shawn Richards celebrate after the former completed his hat-trick in AFC Rushden & Diamonds' 8-1 hammering of North Greenford United. Pictures by Alison Bagley
Andy Hall and Shawn Richards celebrate after the former completed his hat-trick in AFC Rushden & Diamonds' 8-1 hammering of North Greenford United. Pictures by Alison Bagley

Andy Peaks was full of praise for his AFC Rushden & Diamonds side after they moved back to the top of the Evo-Stik Southern League Division One Central in emphatic fashion.

Diamonds inflicted an 8-1 hammering on bottom side North Greenford United at the Dog & Duck and, with morning leaders Chalfont St Peter seeing their clash at Petersfield Town postponed, it was enough to send them a point clear at the summit.

But it was the performance of his players that left boss Peaks so impressed.

Andy Hall hit a hat-trick while the excellent Shawn Richards, debutant Jon Stevenson, Tom Lorraine, Liam Dolman and substitute Lewis Leslie all got in on the act on what proved to be a very good day for Diamonds.

It has left Peaks’ side top of the pile with 18 games to go and the manager was unable to hide his delight.

“We are in a fantastic position, just where you want to be,” he said.

The AFC Rushden & Diamonds players celebrate one of their goals at the Dog & Duck

The AFC Rushden & Diamonds players celebrate one of their goals at the Dog & Duck

“Chalfont didn’t play so we have gone top of the league and that’s the best place to be.

“We scored eight goals, we probably could have had more but I have to be happy because we played some good football. We cut them open at will.

“We wanted to get out of the blocks and we missed some chances but once the first goal went in it started to flow, although we could have been 3-0 up before we scored.

“I thought we passed it really well. The pitch was good for this time of year and the people here have done a fantastic job to get the game on, let alone get it in the condition it was in. And we took full advantage of that.”

Players from both sides get involved following a challenge on Tom Lorraine that saw North Greenford United's Jessy Yoboue sent off

Players from both sides get involved following a challenge on Tom Lorraine that saw North Greenford United's Jessy Yoboue sent off

There were a number of impressive individual performances from the hosts with Hall, Richards and Stevenson all drawing high praise from their manager.

“Shawn has grown from week-to-week since he got here, he has got better and better,” Peaks added.

“Andy has waited for his chance and he’s come in and scored three goals so he will be happy.

“But I was pleased overall. The new boy Jon has come in and linked the play up for us.

“He offers us something different and I think he is going to be valuable in the second half of the season.”