Andy Peaks felt AFC Rushden & Diamonds showed they belong in the upper reaches of the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Division One South after they claimed a fine 1-1 draw at leaders Shaw Lane.
The hosts were on the back of a long winning run but that was ended as Richard Bunting’s deflected effort earned Diamonds a well-deserved point and ensured their unbeaten run in the league was extended to 16 matches.
They had fallen behind to Gary Burnett’s goal late on but they hit straight back through Bunting.
And Peaks believes the stroke of luck they got with the equaliser was well-earned after a good display.
“The result is a good yardstick for us,” the Diamonds boss said.
“I think it has shown us that we have what it takes to be in and around the play-off places, there is no doubt about that.
“Now we have to go on and work that hard and play that well in every game over the next few weeks.
“The point was fully deserved. There weren’t a lot of chances in the game but I felt we had more possession than them.
“We switched the formation to a 4-3-3 and I thought we passed the ball quite well at times against a very good team.
“They only had one real chance and they scored it and that was a whammy for us. If we had lost to that then it would have been devastating.
“But we came back, we showed great character and we got a bit of luck with the deflection. That luck was fully deserved.”
Diamonds return to action for their last game before Christmas on Tuesday night when they make the trip to Lincoln United for what will be the fourth meeting between the clubs this season.