'Back to the drawing board' for Diamonds

AFC Rushden & Diamonds were well beaten by Royston Town at Hayden Road

Wednesday, 29th September 2021, 1:32 pm
Updated Wednesday, 29th September 2021, 1:34 pm
AFC Rushden & Diamonds manager Andy Peaks was left disappointed by his team's home defeat to Royston Town

It’s a case of back to the drawing board for AFC Rushden & Diamonds, according to manager Andy Peaks.

Diamonds turned in a disappointing display as they were beaten 3-1 by Royston Town at Hayden Road on Tuesday night.

There could be few arguments at the final outcome as Royston made a flying start to go 2-0 up inside the first 15 minutes thanks to goals from Josh Williams and Isaac Galliford.

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Jesse Akubuine seized on a defensive error to pull a goal back before half-time but a second-half onslaught never materialised and Royston wrapped up the points late on thanks to a fine finish from substitute Brandon Adams.

The defeat came after Diamonds had picked up seven points from their previous three matches.

Peaks’ team are without a game in the Southern League Premier Central on Saturday but are due to return to action at leaders Peterborough Sports next Tuesday night in the first round of the Southern League Challenge Cup.

And Peaks said: “We will train hard on Thursday and then we will have a think about what we do for next Tuesday.

“I know there are going to be ups and downs but after having such a good little run with seven points out of nine, we wanted to put on a better showing than we did against Royston.

“I thought we got beaten too easily, we were too open at times so we are back to the drawing board and we will go again.

“I can’t pinpoint what went wrong. We knew what to expect and I told the players that and we were bullied out of it.

“This was proper Step 3 football, Royston are a team of men who have been in it a long time and they do the fundamentals really well.

“I knew we had to compete with them physically and we didn’t do that and the tone was set because we were 2-0 down inside the first 15 minutes. It was always going to be a tough night after that.

“The conditions weren’t great, there were always going to be mistakes but we weren’t at the races.

“I was disappointed with the first half in general because we knew they would be competitive and we knew we would have to go and match them with headers and tackles but we didn’t.

“We were lucky enough to get a goal back and the positive thing at half-time was that we were still well in the game.

“And I thought we would get back into it and create chances but we just didn’t get going in the second half either.

“There weren’t a lot of positives to be honest. We didn’t pass the ball well enough, we didn’t create enough goal scoring opportunities and, therefore, we didn’t trouble their goalkeeper.”