Sandy hopes experience heads can help Diamonds hit back

Elliot Sandy is hoping he can help AFC Rushden & Diamonds to get back on track this weekend

Elliot Sandy is hoping he can help AFC Rushden & Diamonds to get back on track this weekend

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Elliot Sandy believes the experience within the AFC Rushden & Diamonds squad will be key as they bid to get their promotion challenge back on track.

The frontman made his debut for Diamonds in last weekend’s 1-0 defeat at fellow high-fliers Royston Town, having joined the club just a few days after being released by neighbours Kettering Town.

But his arrival, along with the influx of other new faces including two of his former Poppies team-mates James Jepson and Jason Lee, was not enough to change Diamonds’ fortunes.

The loss at Royston was their third successive 1-0 defeat and the poor run has had a devastating effect on their title hopes.

Kings Langley lead the Evo-Stik Southern League Division One Central by a point from Egham Town, who suffered a shock 4-1 home loss to Bedford Town on Tuesday night.

Having been top of the pile two weeks ago, Diamonds now find themselves six points off the summit with the immediate focus now being on securing a play-off place in the final eight matches.

The first of those is against Uxbridge at the Dog & Duck on Saturday.

And Sandy believes a collective effort is needed to get things back on course.

“We have players like me, Jason Lee and James Jepson who have been there and done it,” he said.

“I played with Jack Ashton at Oxford City and Liam Dolman has played in the Football League so there is real experience in the squad.

“Enough of the lads have played at a good enough level to know that football can change so quickly. We just have to believe in ourselves. We need to get back to winning ways this weekend and then push on in the last few matches.

“We will have had a week of training and I am sure we will be feeling positive going into the weekend.

“We just have to concentrate on the next game. I am sure all the lads will rally around each other and stay positive.

“The supporters need to enjoy the next eight games, get behind the team and help push us on.”

Sandy didn’t feel there was a great deal to choose between Diamonds and Royston in the big game last weekend.

But, after three games without a goal, he is hoping he can help solve the team’s problems in the final third.

“It was a difficult game to go into on the back of two defeats in a row, it’s a tough place to play at the best of times,” Sandy added.

“There wasn’t a lot in it and a fortunate ricochet from a free-kick has got them the goal.

“Defensively, I thought we were pretty solid. We just need a goal from somewhere and hopefully I can help in that department.”