Diamonds in for a ‘real test’ as they return to league duty

AFC Rushden & Diamonds celebrate their third goal in the FA Cup win at Deeping. Diamonds return to league action at Kings Langley tonight
AFC Rushden & Diamonds celebrate their third goal in the FA Cup win at Deeping. Diamonds return to league action at Kings Langley tonight

Andy Peaks’ believes AFC Rushden & Diamonds will face a “real test” when they head to Kings Langley tonight (Tuesday).

Diamonds return to Evo-Stik Southern League Division One Central duty having earned themselves an FA Cup third qualifying round home tie with Ashton United thanks to a comfortable 3-0 victory at Deeping Rangers on Saturday.

That win extended their unbeaten run in all competitions to 31 matches, 11 of which have been this season.

They currently sit in second spot in the Division One Central table but while they were enjoying cup success at the weekend, Kings Langley moved up to fifth with a 2-0 win at Leighton Town.

Diamonds have already recorded one win over tonight’s opponents after Dan Quigley’s goal settled the FA Cup preliminary round clash between the two sides at the end of August.

But Peaks knows there are various factors his players will have to overcome if they are to repeat the trick this evening.

“This is a real test for us,” he said.

“We already know they are a decent side because we only just beat them in the FA Cup earlier in the season. It will be a test of our character.

“It’s important we continue to pick up league points because when you do have a good cup run, it means league matches get postponed and you fall behind in your fixtures.

“The games that come after the FA Cup are always trickier, midweek away matches are always hard and it’s against a good team who are up there.

“So we have three things to overcome but, as I have said before, I believe our squad has enough about it to go there and get something.”

Elliott Lamb-Johnson should be back in the Diamonds squad after missing the FA Cup success due to personal reasons.

Diamonds, meanwhile, have confirmed Jake Gillingwater has signed dual-registration forms with Wellingborough Town.