Diamonds all set for ‘biggest test so far’ at Enfield

Andy Peaks believes AFC Rushden & Diamonds face their biggest test of the season so far when they head to Enfield Town in the FA Cup
Andy Peaks believes AFC Rushden & Diamonds face their biggest test of the season so far when they head to Enfield Town in the FA Cup

Andy Peaks believes AFC Rushden & Diamonds are facing their “biggest test so far” when they head to Enfield Town in the first qualifying round of the Emirates FA Cup tomorrow (Saturday).

The draws for the world’s most famous club knockout competition haven’t exactly been kind to Diamonds in recent years.

Indeed, once they were handed the tie at Enfield it became the seventh time in a row that Diamonds have been drawn away from home in the FA Cup - dating back to the 2016-17 campaign.

Enfield currently sit in fifth place in the BetVictor Isthmian League Premier Division with just one defeat to their name in their opening six games of the season.

However, Peaks’ team will head to north London in good form themselves having picked up 13 points from their first six matches in the BetVictor Southern League Premier Central.

Their latest point came in the 1-1 draw at Redditch United last weekend as Ryan Dove’s first goal for the club earned them a share of the spoils after they’d trailed at half-time.

And while Peaks knows his team are in for a thorough examination tomorrow, he insists they will head to Enfield in a positive mood.

“Obviously we wanted a home draw but we always seem to be left saying that,” the Diamonds boss said.

“And I think we have been given just about a tough of a tie as you could get at this stage against a team from the same level who are already going well.

“But there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be confident of going there and getting a result. We will go there in a positive frame of mind.

“It’s a nice distraction after an excellent first month of the season.

“I have always said how much I love the FA Cup, there is nothing bad about it as far as I am concerned.

“But I think this is our biggest test so far.

“It will be hard but we will have a plan, we work on things in training and when we get there, we will give it our best to get through.”

Peaks is hopeful Alex Collard will be fit to return to the squad after he missed the draw at Redditch due to an ankle injury but Diamonds will definitely be without the suspended Jack Ashton.