Peaks hopes Diamonds can keep it going against Poppies

AFC Rushden & Diamonds defender Jack Ashton, pictured with boss Andy Peaks, has been given the all-clear to return to action after a year out
AFC Rushden & Diamonds defender Jack Ashton, pictured with boss Andy Peaks, has been given the all-clear to return to action after a year out

Andy Peaks is keen to see AFC Rushden & Diamonds maintain their good form when they take on Kettering Town in a BigFreeBet.com Challenge Cup local derby at Hayden Road tonight (Tuesday).

The Diamonds boss insists the competition is “not a priority” and is set to make changes to his starting line-up.

And Peaks insists he wants to try to get the balance right as he also eyes up an important home clash with Northwood in the Evo-Stik South League East on Saturday.

“The league cup is not a priority whatsoever and that is a fact,” the Diamonds boss said.

“But I do want us to try to keep the good run going and I want to see the players put in a good shift against our local rivals.

“It’s a balancing act. I want us to try to get a good result but, at the same time, I am not going to risk anyone for the game when we have an important league match coming up at the weekend.

“Anyone who knows me knows I want to win every game and this will be no different.

“It will be extremely hard because Kettering are near the top of the league above us and they have some very good players.

“But whoever is picked will be going out there to give it their all and will try to get the right result for us.”

Peaks, meanwhile, admitted he was “absolutely delighted” after defender Jack Ashton was given the all-clear to return to action by a specialist following a year on the sidelines due to a serious knee injury.

“The most important thing out of all of this is that Jack has got the all-clear to come back,” the Diamonds boss added.

“I am absolutely delighted and he isn’t a million miles away.

“I know people will want to see him back as quickly as possible but we have got to look after him because when Jack plays, he’s all in with 100 per cent. That’s the only way he knows.”