Peaks delighted to see Diamonds at the summit

Liam Dolman is set to return for AFC Rushden & Diamonds this weekend after serving a three-match ban

Liam Dolman is set to return for AFC Rushden & Diamonds this weekend after serving a three-match ban

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Andy Peaks hailed his AFC Rushden & Diamonds team after they hit top spot this week.

Diamonds bounced back from a 4-1 home defeat to Royston Town with a 2-1 victory at Hanwell Town on Tuesday night, thanks to goals from Tommy Berwick and Delroy Gordon.

With morning leaders Chalfont St Peter suffering a 3-1 home loss to Uxbridge, Diamonds took over at the summit of the Evo-Stik Southern League Division One Central on goal difference.

They still have two games in hand on second-placed Chalfont and one on third-placed St Ives Town.

And boss Peaks insists he is delighted by the start his team have made, having been promoted from the United Counties League Premier Division in April.

“I am one of these people who always tries to look at the bigger picture and from that point of view, I am delighted with the position we are in,” he said.

“If you had given me 40 points from 18 games at the start of the season I would have snapped your hand off.

“We know we aren’t the finished article by any stretch and there are issues that need to be addressed.

“But the bigger picture is we are in a good place. I would much rather be top than not.

“We will have blips and I hope everyone understands that. There will be games like last weekend – that’s what happens.

“But I don’t want to go overboard about it if we have a setback or two. We just need to keep looking forward.”

Diamonds are facing a tough test this weekend as they make the trip to Uxbridge, who are fresh from beating Chalfont, who are Peaks’ side’s opponents next weekend.

And Peaks added: “Now we are there (at the top) we are there to be shot at, although I think teams raise their game for us anyway.

“Uxbridge will want to beat us tomorrow just like they wanted to beat Chalfont.

“If you look at their last three games, they have beaten Chalfont and drawn with St Ives and Royston, all teams who are right up there.

“It is going to be a very tough game and with Chalfont to follow next weekend, it makes it a very difficult week.”

Diamonds will have central defender Liam Dolman available again after a three-match ban while Andy Hall (groin) and captain Richard Bunting (back) are both battling to be fit.