Peaks draws a line as Diamonds get back to the 'bread and butter'

Andy Peaks' AFC Rushden & Diamonds team return to Evo-Stik South League East duty against Arlesey Town this weekend
Andy Peaks' AFC Rushden & Diamonds team return to Evo-Stik South League East duty against Arlesey Town this weekend

Andy Peaks insists AFC Rushden & Diamonds must “draw a line” under their Emirates FA Cup exit as they gear up for two Evo-Stik South League East matches over the next week.

Diamonds were left wondering what might have been after they were beaten 3-1 by Vanarama National League North side Alfreton Town in Tuesday’s second qualifying round replay at Hayden Road, having been 2-0 up before drawing 2-2 in the first meeting at the Impact Arena last weekend.

But boss Peaks has wasted little time in looking ahead.

Diamonds take on Arlesey Town at Hayden Road tomorrow (Saturday) before heading to current leaders AFC Dunstable next Wednesday night.

And Peaks has urged his players to take their impressive performances from the two ties with Alfreton into their league campaign.

“For me, we have to draw a line under it now, the Diamonds boss said.

“I said to the players afterwards that some of them have set some standards which they need to stick to in the upcoming games.

“It’s not always easy to produce that sort of form but it’s easy to get up for big games.

“But the bread and butter, as I have said from the start, is the league and we are back at it tomorrow and I am looking for the same sort of performance.

“That group who were out there last Saturday and again on Tuesday and even the boys who didn’t feature will be letting themselves down if we don’t go and pick up some points over the next few weeks.

“We have to enjoy how good we have been over the past two games and be disappointed with what we have got from them.

“But then we have to move on and start picking some more points up in the league.”

Peaks is hopeful that full-backs Callum Westwood and Sam Brown are now not too far off from making returns.

Brown was named on the bench on Tuesday while Westwood was still ruled out through injury.

“They are both not far away now,” Peaks added.

“I wasn’t prepared to risk them on Tuesday. Sam was there as an emergency if we needed him.

“They will both train and then we will see how they are doing ahead of the game.

“But the boys who have been involved in the last two games have been worthy of a place.”