Critics are answered in Diamonds' five-star display

Tom Lorraine is mobbed by his AFC Rushden & Diamonds team-mates after scoring the fourth goal in the 5-1 victory at Needham Market. Pictures courtesy of HawkinsImages
Tom Lorraine is mobbed by his AFC Rushden & Diamonds team-mates after scoring the fourth goal in the 5-1 victory at Needham Market. Pictures courtesy of HawkinsImages

Andy Peaks believes his AFC Rushden & Diamonds players “answered a few critics” as they produced their best result of the season so far with a superb 5-1 success at Needham Market.

Having started the day in 17th place in the Evo-Stik League South Premier Division Central, Diamonds finished it in the comfort of mid-table after recording their third win of the campaign in emphatic fashion.

Ben Diamond takes the congratulations after he opened the scoring

Ben Diamond takes the congratulations after he opened the scoring

Goals from Ben Diamond and Jack Bowen put Diamonds 2-0 up before the hosts pulled one back. But Declan Rogers, Tom Lorraine and young loanee Albie Hopkins struck in the final 20 minutes to wrap up the points.

And boss Peaks felt the performance and result only proved what he believed - that his squad is “plenty good enough” to be at this level.

“I think we did what I always believed we could do,” the Diamonds manager said.

“And, to be fair to the lads, they have answered a few critics and answered a few questions posed of us from those who were beginning to wonder whether we were good enough at this level.

Albie Hopkins heads off to celebrate after he grabbed Diamonds' fifth goal

Albie Hopkins heads off to celebrate after he grabbed Diamonds' fifth goal

“I always thought we could deliver something like that but it was always a case of me saying it. “The boys went out there and proved we have good enough players.

“We have been looking for something like this.

“We played pretty well in the first and deserved the lead but Needham Market played pretty well themselves and it was fine margins again. If they had got the first goal, and they had the chances, then it would have been a different game.

“We got the second goal and then we let them straight back into it but the third goal really killed them off and we took control of things.

“It’s always about scoring goals at the right time and not giving away silly goals and it all came together for us.

“We have got a squad that is plenty good enough for this level and that is something I have never doubted.

“But the players have set the standard with this performance and we have to move on from here and maintain that level.”