Peaks happy with strength of his Diamonds squad

Liam Dolman celebrates after scoring AFC Rushden & Diamonds' sixth goal during the 8-1 success over North Greenford United. Picture by Alison Bagley
Liam Dolman celebrates after scoring AFC Rushden & Diamonds' sixth goal during the 8-1 success over North Greenford United. Picture by Alison Bagley
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Andy Peaks has declared himself happy with the strength of his AFC Rushden & Diamonds squad ahead of the run-in in the Evo-Stik Southern League Division One Central.

Diamonds moved to the top of the table following their 8-1 drubbing of bottom side North Greenford United on Saturday, although they could be knocked off the summit if Egham Town beat Royston Town tomorrow (Tuesday) night.

Peaks added strikers Nabil Shariff and Jon Stevenson to his squad ahead of the weekend.

Shariff will have to wait for his debut as he recovers from a chest infection but Stevenson made an immediate impact with an impressive display being capped by him scoring Diamonds’ fifth goal.

There was also the welcome sight of defender Jack Ashton making his return from a knee injury during the second half, a moment which Peaks described as ‘the icing on the cake’.

Asked whether he was happy with his squad following the two new arrivals, the Diamonds boss said: “I am happier than I was. I thought it was paramount that we got a striker in and we have managed to bring two in.

“Tom Liversedge has got a few issues with his knee and I just felt that I had always run with four strikers before and it was important to put pressure on the other boys.

“It’s going to be a few weeks until Nabil can play but Jon came in at the weekend and everyone warmed to him straight away.

“And for me, getting Jack on the pitch was the icing on the cake.

“He has been a massive part of this club since I have been manager, I’ve said that and that’s why I have supported everything that we have done for him.

“It was great to get him on and you could see what it meant for everyone at the club.

“And I think he showed in that 20 minutes what he can bring. I am really pleased to get him back so quickly.”

Diamonds will now begin their preparations for Saturday’s trip to seventh-placed Aylesbury.

And Peaks is hoping the elements allow his team to get on a consistent run of matches.

“It’s important we keep playing but that’s in the hands of the weather,” he added.

“All we can do is keep preparing and be ready. We have a tough game at Aylesbury next week, they are a really good team.

“Every game I feel is a difficult one and I have respect for all the teams so we know it will be hard on Saturday.”