Captain Dolman keen to see Diamonds stay in the play-off pack

AFC Rushden & Diamonds skipper Liam Dolman
AFC Rushden & Diamonds skipper Liam Dolman

Liam Dolman has tasted plenty of success with AFC Rushden & Diamonds and he is hungry for more this season.

Diamonds’ superb debut season at Step 3 hit a new height on Tuesday night as they claimed an impressive 2-0 victory over third-placed Stratford Town at Hayden Road.

The win saw Andy Peaks’ team move back to within two points of the play-off places in the Evo-Stik League South Premier Division Central.

Diamonds have been the undoubted surprise package in the battle for a top-five finish this season.

And captain Dolman is keen to ensure there is once again something for the team to play for during the latter stages of the campaign.

“I don’t think anyone thought we would be up there but we have got tremendous belief in the dressing-room and we know that on our day we can match anyone in this league,” the Diamonds skipper said.

“We have got to have our day every week. We can’t turn up like we did last Saturday (in the 1-1 draw with Leiston) and produce a 50 per cent performance.

“Everyone in the dressing-room fancies it. In the five years I have been here we have always had something to play for at the end of the season and we want that again.

“We aren’t going to let this season end with a whimper, we want to be right in the pack and hopefully take it right down to the wire.”

Dolman picked the perfect time to grab his first league goal of the season as he opened the scoring in midweek before Sam Johnson also struck as Diamonds produced an impressive second-half display to see off an energetic Stratford team.

“It was a massive three points after the disappointment of drawing at the weekend,” Dolman added.

“It was a fantastic reaction and I thought we thoroughly deserved the win on the second half performance alone.

“Fair play to the management team because they changed the formation at half-time. We are better when we are pressing teams and I think that showed.

“I was long overdue that goal. Shanks (Tom Lorraine) fired it in at me but I just made sure I got a good connection and fortunately it’s gone into the top corner.

“I was pleased for Sam as well. He has had to bide his time but we all know what a good player he is. He is quick and he’s good on the ball. It was a fantastic finish and that really settled us down."