Relief and disappointment for Diamonds boss Peaks

Brad Harris goes up for an aerial challenge during AFC Rushden & Diamonds' 1-1 draw at Rugby Town. Picture by Martin Pulley
Brad Harris goes up for an aerial challenge during AFC Rushden & Diamonds' 1-1 draw at Rugby Town. Picture by Martin Pulley

Andy Peaks had feelings of relief and disappointment following AFC Rushden & Diamonds’s 1-1 draw at Rugby Town last night (Tuesday).

Diamonds went into the clash against the rock-bottom hosts on the back of a 10-match unbeaten run in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Division One South and fine away wins at Spalding United and Stocksbridge Park Steels.

But it proved to be a tough night as Diamonds lost Jack Ashton and Liam Dolman to injuries, forcing Tom Lorraine to partner Brad Harris in an unlikely central defensive partnership for nearly 40 minutes.

They fell behind to Chris Sterling’s header but Nic Evangelinos fired them level on 64 minutes as they extended their unbeaten run in the league to 11 matches.

Peaks was far from happy with his team’s display but felt a point was good outcome after the way events played out.

“At 7.45pm it wasn’t a great result because they are at the bottom of the league and we have been going really well,” the Diamonds boss said.

“But at 9pm when we are a goal down and we have enforced changes and a team that wouldn’t really be my first choice out there, it is a good point.

“I am disappointed but a bit relieved because we wanted to keep the unbeaten run going and I hope we can build on that second-half performance where we have fought back from a goal down.

“I am disappointed overall because we weren’t good enough, we didn’t pass the ball well and we didn’t work as hard as we had done in the previous matches.

“I asked for a reaction at half-time and I thought we got it until Bully (Dolman) had to come off. That was a massive blow and then they got their goal.

“But we got one back from Nic, who I thought was excellent for us again.

“I have been around long enough to know that it’s about a season, not one night.

“Rugby had less chances than Spalding and Stocksbridge did in games that we won.

“It evens itself out over the season. I’m not going to be downbeat. We wanted three points but I will learn a lot from it.

“I will give the lads a bit of credit because we haven’t been beaten again when we could have gone under and that point could be important at the end of the season.”

Don’t miss more Diamonds news in Thursday’s Northamptonshire Telegraph