Diamonds are now at the top of the defensive tree

Action from AFC Rushden & Diamonds' 2-1 success at Arlesey Town last weekend. Picture by Guy Wills
Action from AFC Rushden & Diamonds' 2-1 success at Arlesey Town last weekend. Picture by Guy Wills

AFC Rushden & Diamonds’ defensive record came into the spotlight again last weekend.

Diamonds’ 2-1 win at Arlesey Town last Saturday, first and foremost, kept Andy Peaks’ team on course for promotion as they extended their unbeaten run in the Evo-Stik South League East to 16 matches.

The division’s bottom side did manage to do what plenty of others have struggled with in recent weeks, however, and that was to score a goal against the table-toppers.

However, despite their defences being breached for just the 15th time in the league this season, Diamonds ended the weekend at the top of a pretty impressive list.

With Sky Bet League One high-fliers Wigan Athletic losing 3-1 at Southend United, it meant Diamonds’ defensive record became the best in the top eight levels of English football.

It was a statistic that was quickly shared around the nation on social media.

That recognition didn’t go unnoticed by manager Peaks either and while he was delighted by the word getting around, he knows figures like that will only make their opponents more determined.

“It’s something we are really proud of,” the Diamonds boss said.

“People will know that I am the sort of person who plays things down but it’s always nice to get that extra bit of recognition.

“Regardless of where our season goes, it’s great to be in this position at the moment and it’s something that a lot of players and managers won’t do during their careers.

“But we know that it can work the other way as well.

“A lot has been made of our defensive record over the past week but it will only make teams even more determined to come and score goals against us.

“It’s nice to get the recognition and the club of the months awards and all of that. The boys have been superb and they deserve it.

“But we are only two thirds through the season and we want to make sure we go on and achieve our main goal.”

Diamonds are due to be back on home soil this weekend when they host Chalfont St Peter.

It will be the first time they have played at Hayden Road since January 9 following a spate of postponements.

And Peaks added: “It’s been a long while since our last home game so we are looking forward to it.

“There’s not much anyone can do about the weather, that’s something no-one can control.

“Our home form has generally been pretty good and it’s important we carry that on because we have tough games coming up.”