Peaks feeling positive ahead of Diamonds’ clash at Raunds

Liam Dolman missed AFC Rushden & Diamonds' 1-0 defeat to Didcot Town at the weekend
Liam Dolman missed AFC Rushden & Diamonds' 1-0 defeat to Didcot Town at the weekend

AFC Rushden & Diamonds head to Raunds Town for their penultimate pre-season friendly tonight (Tuesday).

And boss Andy Peaks remains comfortable with where his team are at as they continue their preparations for the new Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Division One South campaign, which kicks off a week on Saturday.

Diamonds’ latest pre-season outing saw them beaten 1-0 by Didcot Town at the Dog & Duck in the Dale Roberts Memorial Cup match at the weekend.

Despite the defeat, Peaks was pleased with the character the Diamonds squad showed after they lost trialist Ash Deeney and one of their most recent signings Kyal McNulty to early injuries.

The likes of Liam Dolman, Jack Ashton and Richard Bunting were also missing.

And, as they prepare for the game at Kiln Park this evening, Peaks looks set to further run the rule over a number of trialists.

“I am pleased with where we are, there are always positives to look at,” the Diamonds boss said.

“We are still a little bit off from where we need to be but we still have the best part of two weeks before the season starts.

“We are looking a lot of different players and we got forced into a change in formation at the weekend because of injuries and I thought the lads adapted well to it.

“It was a good test for the squad and we should have won the game. But I was pleased with the character they showed in what was a very physical game.

“I am expecting another tough one at Raunds, it will be no different to the weekend.

“I get on well with Jim (Raunds boss Le Masurier) and we were always going to go there and play them.

“I am sure it will be another good contest and we will go there with a similar group that we had against Didcot.

“Jack, Liam and Richard were all carrying knocks coming out of the Wellingborough game and we aren’t going to risk anyone at this stage.”

Former Aylesbury United defender McNulty was confirmed as a new signing following the defeat at the weekend while Diamonds also revealed that youngster James Harvey and frontman Robbie Parsons have also signed up for the new season.