Peaks wants Diamonds to hit back in cup clash

Andy Peaks is hoping AFC Rushden & Diamonds can bounce back when they play Brackley Town in the NFA Hillier Cup semi-final tonight

Andy Peaks is hoping AFC Rushden & Diamonds can bounce back when they play Brackley Town in the NFA Hillier Cup semi-final tonight

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Andy Peaks is hoping AFC Rushden & Diamonds can bounce back in style when they take on Brackley Town in the semi-finals of the NFA Hillier Senior Cup tonight (Tuesday).

Diamonds suffered a heavy 4-0 defeat at Beaconsfield SYCOB at the weekend but remain two points clear at the top of the Evo-Stik Southern League Division One Central.

Boss Peaks believes some of his players will “have a point to prove” at the Dog & Duck this evening as they face a Brackley side who are struggling at the wrong end of the Vanarama National League North.

The other semi-final sees Rothwell Corinthians entertaining Kettering Town and Peaks admits the potential for a showdown with the Poppies, should both clubs progress, is a big incentive.

“We have always bounced back well when we have had setbacks and this is a tough game to do that again,” he said.

“Brackley are two divisions above us but it’s the cup, I’d like to do well in it and I would hope that some of the players will have a point to prove.

“I think the fact we could face Kettering if we go through is an incentive and I have said for a long time that it would be good to play them.

“It would certainly create interest in the local community and it would be two good teams going at it.

“But we have got a particularly hard game and, for us, it’s a good chance to get back out there and play again to shake off what happened at the weekend.”

Peaks, meanwhile, expressed his delight after a deal was struck with Corby Town to keep full-back Connor Kennedy on loan at Diamonds for the remainder of the season.

“I was always confident that we would be able to get Connor for the rest of the season,” he added.

“He probably hasn’t played as much as he expected because Sam Brown was still here, he got sent off and then I kept the same team for Saturday after last weekend’s win and he understood that.

“But he is going to get plenty of opportunities and we are delighted he will be staying.”