Diamonds will give it all they've got in tough tie

AFC Rushden & Diamonds play Coalville Town for the second time in as many weeks when they meet in the Emirates FA Cup this weekend

Friday, 3rd September 2021, 7:15 am
Will Jones challenges Peterborough Sports goalkeeper Lewis Moat during AFC Rushden & Diamonds' 1-0 defeat on Bank Holiday Monday. Picture courtesy of Hawkins Images

Andy Peaks knows AFC Rushden & Diamonds face one of the toughest possible ties they could have got in the first qualifying round of the Emirates FA Cup.

Diamonds head to Southern League Premier Central rivals Coalville Town in the competition tomorrow (Saturday) - just two weeks after they claimed a dramatic 2-1 victory over the same opponents in the league clash at Hayden Road.

That remains Peaks’ team’s only win of the season so far after a 1-0 defeat to leaders Peterborough Sports on Bank Holiday Monday made it three losses in four games so far.

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However, the Diamonds boss isn’t feeling downhearted and he fully expects to see the same effort and commitment as his team showed on Monday when they were unfortunate not to secure at least a share of the spoils.

“We have probably got one of the worst draws you could get with it being someone at our level in our league who are a very, very good team,” Peaks said as he looked ahead to the FA Cup clash.

“But, at the end of the day, we know enough about them and all we can do is give it our best shot.

“That’s what we always do, that’s what I ask for in every game and as long as they put the effort and commitment in like they did on Monday then that’s all we can ask for.

“I want to be in every game.

“We have only won one game out of the four we have had and we knew it was going to be a tough start.

“But we have seen four good teams and we have been in every game until the end.

“That’s what I want to be. At times last year, we were out of games way too easily and we have set up to try to be hard to beat.

“We were in the game on Monday right until the end. I think people appreciated what we did and felt, like we did, that we should have got something out of it.”

Diamonds are set to be without striker Tom Lorraine after he was withdrawn due to a hamstring injury on Monday and replaced by the lively Will Jones.

The youngster could be in line for a start on Saturday while Peaks is also hopeful of having the likes of Alex Collard, Ben Diamond and Ben Garwood available again.

“We have got Will and we have got Lorrell,” Peaks added.

“I think Will needs blooding gradually if I am honest and with half-an-hour to go I don’t think any defenders really want to be marking him.

“But, with the injury to Tom, it might be that Will comes in for a start sooner than we thought.

“He is plenty big enough and brave enough to start a game but having Tom injured is a blow because the system we play does suit him. We will see how he is and pick the team accordingly.

“We had Ben Garwood unavailable for the weekend as he had something booked before he signed for us, Alex Collard has had a hamstring so we will see how he is and that’s the same for Claudio Dias.

“Ben Diamond was ill over the weekend so he wasn’t there on Monday and we also had Connor Furlong unavailable so it was quite a big list.”