Deacon doubles secures six points in a week for AFC Rushden & Diamonds
Boss Peaks 'delighted'
AFC Rushden & Diamonds rounded off a good week with a 3-1 home win against Lowestoft Town on Tuesday night - with manager Andy Peaks pleased with how his side took the game to their rivals.
Ty Deacon netted two first-half goals to put the hosts in the ascendancy, only for Louis McIntosh to reduce the arrears from the spot before the interval.
In-form Nathan Tshikuna made had the final say with his third goal in as many games to wrap up six points from two games and see Diamonds finish the evening eighth in the Southern League Premier Central.
“Overall we deservedly got three points from the game,” said manager Andy Peaks.
“I felt they were the sort of team that, if we started well against, we could get a result.
“Obviously, they’re not in a great run of form and I said to people at this time of the year the league doesn’t lie.
“You still get unusual results and you have to be at it for every game, you can’t take anything for granted. I wanted to get on the front foot from the start.”
The manner of Deacon’s goals also impressed the manager.
“We’re always playing pass and move games all the time in training and encouraging them top pass the ball,” he added.
“We have been scoring a lot of set piece goals, so it was nice to score goals from open play.
“I was really happy (with the start) but disappointed to concede before half time.
“I just thought we’d switched off and the tempo dropped a little bit.”
Saturday’s scheduled contest against Needham Market has been postponed due to the opposition’s involvement in the FA Trophy, much to the frustration of Alex Collard.
“We’ve hit a bit of form and to be honest we could have done with another on Saturday to keep the run going, but it’s one of those we’ve got to take it for what it is,” he said.
“Peaksy said to us before we went into a run of games in November, we thought realistically we should be taking maximum points, and he said at the start of the week try to get six points.
“After doing it on Saturday we had to do it to keep the run going.”
Tshikuna’s finish wasn’t the cleanest he’ll ever score, but they all county, as Collard agrees.
He said: “From the way we’ve been playing lately, we haven’t really been getting enough shots on target.
“We dominate and get in great areas but we haven’t got enough shots away.
“It’s probably the worst shot he’s had all night and it’s gone in.”
Man of the match Tshikuna netted a 17th-minute overhead kick to earn Diamonds a 1-0 victory over Redditch United on Saturday.
“I don’t think I was meant to be in the box but I took my chances,” the matchwinner confessed.
“We had the big boys in there and, hopefully, the ball would drop, and you know a bit of flexibility and it’s in.”
That victory, bouncing back from the midweek defeat to Leiston, impressed Peaks.
“Delighted to be honest, really pleased with that,” he reflected.
“In fairness to Redditch they’ve made a couple of signings and were at full strength.
“It’s such as tight league and I knew it’d be a tough game.”
Although his side held on the for the three points, Peakes admitted it could be a nervy watch from the dug-out.
“I used to love 1-0 as a player because when you’re 1-0 at centre back or right back you always feel you’re in control.
“As a manager 1-0 can be a little bit different because you’re not in control.
“Although they didn’t threaten loads, one mistake and it can be level. Overall, delighted.”