Andy Peaks felt AFC Rushden & Diamonds delivered “a perfect response” as they claimed a comfortable 4-0 victory at Aylesbury United last night (Wednesday).
Diamonds went into the clash, which only went ahead following an afternoon inspection, on the back of their first defeat of the Evo-Stik Southern League Division One Central season as they were beaten 1-0 at Godalming Town last weekend.
But Peaks got the reaction he had demanded as Diamonds eased to a success after the hosts had their goalkeeper Zaki Oualah sent off for bringing down Tommy Berwick after just seven minutes.
With no goalkeeper on the bench, home midfielder Greg Williams took over the gloves and Diamonds showed no mercy as Claudiu Hoban and Berwick struck in the first half before goals from skipper Richard Bunting and youngster Joe Ackroyd rounded things off.
The win sent Diamonds back up to third in the table, two points off leaders St Ives Town with three games in hand.
“It was pretty much a perfect response,” Peaks said.
“We were obviously helped by the goalkeeper being sent off but even by the time that happened he had made one save and we were on the front foot.
“The players took on board everything that was said to them before the game and sometimes you just know they are going to deliver. We looked like we had the bit between our teeth.
“The two quick goals in the first half were key and I thought we managed the game very well after that.
“The midfielder who went in goal for them made a couple of good saves and, if I am going to be at all critical, I would say that we could have been a bit more clinical.
“But any manager would take a 4-0 win away from home and now we can move on.”
Peaks, meanwhile, was delighted to see youngsters Ackroyd and Matt Pinder make an impact from the bench late on as the latter set his team-mate up for his first senior goal.
New signing Lynval Da Costa also came on as a substitute and the Diamonds boss added: “Both Joe and Matt have come through the ranks and both have been in the under-21s this season as well as having bit-parts in the first-team.
“With us being 3-0 up with 10 minutes to go, it seemed like a perfect chance to get them out there and for Joe to score the fourth goal was the icing on the cake.
“Lynval is a lad who has been training regularly with us and it was good to get him involved as well. Overall, it was a very good night.”
Diamonds are back on home soil this weekend when they take on Beaconsfield SYCOB at the Dog & Duck on Saturday.