Peaks proud as Diamonds give it ‘everything’ to earn a dramatic draw

Two-goal hero Ross Oulton gets on the ball for AFC Rushden & Diamonds during their 3-3 draw with Gresley FC. Pictures by Alison Bagley
Two-goal hero Ross Oulton gets on the ball for AFC Rushden & Diamonds during their 3-3 draw with Gresley FC. Pictures by Alison Bagley
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Andy Peaks felt his AFC Rushden & Diamonds squad showed they are “willing to give absolutely everything” after they claimed a dramatic draw with Gresley FC to keep their unbeaten run going.

It turned out to be a thrilling contest at the Dog & Duck as Gresley went 2-0 up before goals from Nabil Shariff and Ross Oulton brought Diamonds level.

Matt Finlay is beaten as Gresley score one of their goals

Matt Finlay is beaten as Gresley score one of their goals

The visitors looked like they had snatched a winner in the third minute of stoppage-time but an even later Oulton free-kick secured Peaks’ side a point and ensured their unbeaten run now stands at five in all competitions.

Diamonds now sit in eighth place in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Division One South and Peaks felt his team’s never-say-die attitude shows how far a new-look squad has come in a short space of time.

“A lot of people were saying to me afterwards about how good the game was and what a good advert for our league it was,” the Diamonds boss said.

“There were loads of positives for us. It was always going to be a tough game.

Nabil Shariff has a shot on goal for Diamonds

Nabil Shariff has a shot on goal for Diamonds

“We started well but they went 2-0 up and that flattered them because it was simply a case of them taking their chances and us not taking the ones we created.

“But the response after their second goal was really pleasing. This squad is really coming together and we have come back from 2-0 down to 2-2 and we were looking to win it.

“They have scored a brilliant third goal and that would have been a real whammy for us but we have still gone on and got another one and it ended up feeling like a victory.

“We have four key players missing and they are lads who would definitely be pushing for starting roles. But we have come through a very hard game unbeaten and we have kept this nice little run going.

“It was disappointing after the Chasetown game (a 3-1 defeat) but I think we have already come a long way as a group.

“They dug deep and the one thing they have shown me now is that they are willing to give absolutely everything to get results for this club.”

Diamonds are now gearing up for their FA Cup second qualifying round clash at Vanarama National League South strugglers Concord Rangers next Saturday.