A potentially pivotal few days in AFC Rushden & Diamonds’ bid to win the Evo-Stik Southern League Division One Central title kicks off at the Dog & Duck tonight (7.45pm).
Andy Peaks’ side entertain third-placed St Ives Town this evening, knowing a win will open up a 10-point gap between the two clubs.
Diamonds had their lead at the top of the table cut to four points at the weekend as they were held to a 0-0 draw at Fleet Town while Kings Langley closed the gap with a 2-1 success over Leighton Town.
Kings Langley are the visitors to the Dog & Duck at the weekend and are also in action this evening as the battle for the sole automatic promotion slot intensifies.
But Diamonds boss Peaks insists he is only focused on tonight’s clash and he knows it represents a tough challenge for his players, even after St Ives suffered a shock 1-0 home defeat to struggling Aylesbury United on Saturday.
“It’s a massive week but we are just going concentrate on St Ives before anything else,” Peaks said.
“Our only aim is to try to win the game but it won’t be easy. I have watched St Ives a few times and the league table doesn’t lie at this stage of the season, they are a very good side.
“I like my teams to work hard and that’s what St Ives do. They have a good work-rate and they also have a good manager,
“But, if you want to be successful then you have to play in these games and do well.
“We picked up a good point away from home on Saturday and if we can follow that up with three at home then it will look even better.
“It’s an important game. It’s only three points on the line but it is a big three points because we can move well clear of them if we win the game.
“It’s a big match for both teams and we are really looking forward to it.”
Peaks revealed there were “no fresh injuries” for his squad following the draw at Fleet while a new signing was confirmed this morning.
Teenage striker Robbie Parsons has joined Diamonds on a dual registration with Wealdstone, whom he joined from Northampton Town last month, to provide cover for their experienced strikeforce that includes Jefferson Louis and Scott McGleish.
With the Stones also having recently signed Marvin Morgan on loan there was an opportunity for Robbie to sign for Diamonds.
He should be available for selection this evening.