Peaks wants Diamonds to ‘kick on’ in play-off bid

Nabil Shariff celebrates in front of the fans after scoring AFC Rushden & Diamonds' winner against Leek Town. Picture by Alison Bagley
Nabil Shariff celebrates in front of the fans after scoring AFC Rushden & Diamonds' winner against Leek Town. Picture by Alison Bagley

Andy Peaks has urged his AFC Rushden & Diamonds players to “kick on” as they bid to secure a play-off place in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Division One South.

A late goal from Nabil Shariff secured a crucial 2-1 victory over fellow top-five contenders Leek Town at the Dog & Duck on Saturday.

Diamonds sit in fourth place with nine games to go but Basford United, who have played three matches more, and Newcastle Town sit just behind them on goal difference while the weekend win opened up a four-point gap from Leek.

Peaks and his players are now preparing for next weekend’s trip to Market Drayton Town as they continue their quest to reach the play-offs in their division for the second season in a row.

And the manager was particularly pleased to see his team produce a big result on their own patch, with their home form being their big sticking point this season.

“Every game is going to be massive because that’s the position we are in and it’s where you want to be,” the Diamonds manager said.

“It’s in our hands and it’s up to us to maintain where we are and kick on.

“That means putting in a good performance week in, week out and as long as they do that then I’ll be happy.

“We have got a free week so it was vital to get three points, especially at home.

“There has been a lot said about or home form but I think we have actually played better than that on our own ground and not won.

“But Saturday wasn’t particularly about performance, it was about getting a result.

“We did that and it now means we can enjoy training this week and be ready for next Saturday.”