A big incentive for table-topping Diamonds

The incentive is crystal clear for AFC Rushden & Diamonds as they prepare to take on Arlesey Town in a re-arranged clash tonight (Tuesday).

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 9th February 2016, 9:07 am
Updated Wednesday, 17th February 2016, 5:30 am
Lewis Leslie, who scored the second goal, gets on the ball for AFC Rushden & Diamonds against Ware on Saturday. Diamonds take on Arlesey Town at home tonight. Picture by Alison Bagley
Lewis Leslie, who scored the second goal, gets on the ball for AFC Rushden & Diamonds against Ware on Saturday. Diamonds take on Arlesey Town at home tonight. Picture by Alison Bagley

With none of the teams immediately below them in action this evening, Diamonds will move six points clear at the top of the Evo-Stik Southern League Division One Central if they can pick up another win at the Dog & Duck,

They go into it on the back of a comfortable 3-0 success over Ware at the weekend and boss Andy Peaks is keen to see his team put pressure on those below them by opening up a gap.

But he is staying cautious after Arlesey caused his team problems during the first half of the original clash at the start of last month, which was abandoned at half-time due to a waterlogged pitch after a deluge of rain during the opening period.

“For me, it’s all about getting the points on the board,” Peaks said.

“Other teams will have games in hand but if we keep picking up points it will only put more pressure on everyone else.

“It is a great incentive for us tonight to go six points clear and the more we get on the board, the more doubts it might put in others’ heads.

“But it’s another tough game for us. Arlesey came and gave a really good account of themselves in the abandoned match, they rose to the occasion when they weren’t on a great run.

“I am sure their manager will be reminding them that they had us worried so we are expecting another tough night and we will need to be at our best for it.”

Shawn Richards is set to return for Diamonds this evening but Peaks delivered disappointing news on the fitness of skipper Richard Bunting, who is suffering from a hip problem.

“Sadly, it looks like Bunts is going to be long-term,” he added.

“I don’t think he will be available for the foreseeable future and that is a blow because he is a big part of what we are trying to do.

“That was one of the reasons we got Dan Quigley back to the club. It’s almost a case of one in, one out.”