Diamonds must keep the pressure on, says boss Peaks

Liam Dolman scores his and AFC Rushden & Diamonds' second goal in last weekend's 2-1 success at Deeping Rangers. Picture by Tim Wilson
Liam Dolman scores his and AFC Rushden & Diamonds' second goal in last weekend's 2-1 success at Deeping Rangers. Picture by Tim Wilson
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Boss Andy Peaks has called on his AFC Rushden & Diamonds players to keep piling the pressure on their ChromaSport & Trophies United Counties League Premier Division promotion rivals.

Last week’s 2-1 win at Deeping Rangers opened up a 10-point lead at the top, although that gap was reduced to eight after Holbeach United won 3-2 at Huntingdon Town on Wednesday night.

Diamonds take on Peterborough Northern Star at the Dog & Duck tomorrow (Saturday).

And Peaks said: “The more points clear we go, the more confidence it gives us and it puts doubts in the minds of other teams.

“It’s all about the mindset.

“Each time we win a game it puts pressure on the teams below us. We just have to keep winning games.”

Liam Dolman was Diamonds’ match winner at Deeping last weekend with both goals and Peaks’ side head home this weekend looking to extend an impressive record at the Dog & Duck.

Diamonds have picked up 32 points from a possible 36 in front of their own fans this season and they end the campaign with five successive home games.

Peaks said: “I told the players at the start of the season that a good home record was crucial.

“We want to make the Dog & Duck an intimidating place that other teams don’t want to come to.

“We know some teams want to play in front of big crowds but when the supporters really get behind us, it makes it hard for them.

“We need all the supporters behind us until the end of the season.”

Earlier in the season, Diamonds were 4-1 winners at Northern Star but the visitors head to Wellingborough this weekend in sixth place.

Peaks said: “They are better away from home and they beat us at the Dog & Duck last season.

“We want to erase the memory of that and they want revenge for what happened at their place earlier in the season.”

Diamonds welcome back Adam Confue from suspension and Peaks reports Neil King could also be back from injury.

Desborough Town boss Ian Walker is targeting another top-10 finish in the Premier Division.

Last season, Ar Tarn finished 10th and going into the last 12 games of the current campaign, they are 14th.

And, ahead of this weekend’s trip to Boston Town, Walker said: “We don’t want to be going backwards.

“We did well to finish 10th last season and we want to maintain that. We’re not in any danger of relegation, but I want us to push on in these last 12 games and finish 10th again if we can.”

Saturday’s hosts are managerless after Dan Barrett stepped down this week following the 2-1 win over Long Buckby, their third victory in four games.

Ar Tarn were 2-1 winners when the sides met earlier this season and Walker added: “They are a good footballing side who like to get the ball down and play. I’m surprised they are only 12th. I remember them as a very good side.”

Wellingborough Town hope to have skipper Joe Rich back for Tuesday’s trip to Cogenhoe United.

The Doughboys are without a game this weekend and will target a third straight win at Compton Park on Tuesday night.

Rich has missed the 3-2 wins over promotion hopefuls Yaxley and strugglers Long Buckby and, along with Jon Mitchell, he could return for the clash at Cogenhoe.

But joint-boss Joe Smyth has a warning for his side ahead of the local derby.

He said: “We’ve won a couple of games. We haven’t won the World Cup.

“We’re not good enough to take other teams for granted and if we do, we will have another Kempston debacle.

“If we go there with a full team and the right attitude we will definitely give them a game.

“Cogenhoe are always in and around the top six and they’ve brought in players who will make them stronger.

“It’s a local derby and should be a cracking game to be involved in.”

Smyth has also welcomed this weekend’s break.

He added: “It means the players can take their wives and girlfriends out and keep them happy, then come back refreshed for the game at Cogenhoe.”