Threadbare Diamonds ready for Romulus test

Boss Andy Peaks and assistant-manager Paul Lamb are dealing with a long injury list at AFC Rushden & Diamonds

Boss Andy Peaks and assistant-manager Paul Lamb are dealing with a long injury list at AFC Rushden & Diamonds

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Injury-ravaged AFC Rushden & Diamonds look set to head into tonight’s (Tuesday) clash with Romulus at the Dog & Duck without six first-team players.

Jack Ashton, Ross Oulton, Joe Curtis, Jake Newman and Lewis Leslie are all struggling with knocks while Sam Brown, who also picked up an injury at the weekend, is unavailable for this evening’s game and Saturday’s FA Cup third qualifying round clash at Hendon.

Diamonds’ patched up squad picked up a decent point in a 1-1 draw with second-placed Shaw Lane in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Division One South on Saturday.

They will have Richard Bunting back from suspension tonight but boss Andy Peaks admits his squad is “being tested” by the untimely injuries to key players.

It’s another tricky test tonight against a Romulus side who sit in fourth place.

And Peaks said: “It’s going to be a really tough game.

“They have had a great start to the season so they will be coming here full of confidence.

“But we aren’t on a bad run ourselves and I do feel it’s really important for us to try to follow up the draw at the weekend with a win tonight.

“If we do that then I think we can be very pleased with our start.

“But our squad is being tested to its absolute limit at the moment.

“I think we will have as many as six missing this evening and that means we will be asking the other boys to put in a big shift for us again.

“Having Bunts (Bunting) back is a big boost because he’s been playing very well this season and he is a good character to have in and around the dressing-room.

“We just have to get on with it and try to pick up another good result.”