AFC Rushden & Diamonds back at home to take on Needham Market

Diamonds will be looking to bounce back after their weekend defeat at the league leaders

By Jon Dunham
Tuesday, 18th January 2022, 7:51 am
Updated Tuesday, 18th January 2022, 7:54 am
AFC Rushden & Diamonds manager Andy Peaks
AFC Rushden & Diamonds manager Andy Peaks

Andy Peaks knows AFC Rushden & Diamonds are in for a tough test against FA Trophy heroes Needham Market at Hayden Road tonight (Tuesday).

Diamonds return home this evening looking to bounce back after they suffered a 2-0 defeat at runaway Southern League Premier Central leaders Banbury United on Saturday.

Peaks’ team are now eight points off the play-off places but have three games in hand on fifth-placed Alvechurch, which is where they head to at the weekend.

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But, before then, a stern test lies in front of Diamonds.

Needham will arrive at Hayden Road having dumped National League side Yeovil Town out of the FA Trophy at the weekend after they won on penalties following a 1-1 draw.

Their league form, however, hasn’t been as good as many expected.

“Needham are in a false position,” Peaks said.

“They have the same team they had last year and added a couple and when the league was stopped they were sitting in second. That says it all.

“They have taken a little while to get going but I watched them last week and they came from behind to beat a good Alvechurch team.

“And they have now beaten Wealdstone and Yeovil in the FA Trophy so that speaks volumes.

“We are on the back of a disappointing defeat and they are on a high. It will be a really tough game.

“But we have 16 games left. We don’t know what we will need to try to make it into the play-offs but we will try to take it game-by-game.

“We have drawn a line under Saturday, we have to learn from it and we will be ready to go again.”