Andy Peaks believes his AFC Rushden & Diamonds players “set the standard” after they started life in the Evo-Stik South League Premier Division Central with a superb opening-day win.
Diamonds crushed Redditch United 5-2 in their first-ever match at Step 3 in front of nearly 600 fans at Hayden Road.
The newly-promoted hosts were 5-0 up inside an hour thanks to a brace from Ben Diamond while Jack Bowen, Ben Farrell and Tom Lorraine were also on target before the visitors pulled two goals back in the last 17 minutes.
But it proved to be a day to remember for Diamonds and their delighted manager who saw his side go 2-0 up inside the first eight minutes of the season.
“We started really well,” Peaks said.
“In the first game of the season you never really know what to expect but I thought we really good from the start.
“We got a couple of early goals and they never really recovered from it.
“We got a bit complacent after that so to get the third goal just before half-time made my chat with them a bit easier and we maintained it in the second half.
“We made changes because people had knocks and then it was quite open. They scored two goals but we had more chances and it probably could have been seven or eight.
“We were pretty much perfect for an hour. Everything you could have asked of them they produced.
“We were clinical, we defended well and we were first to everything. They all did really, really well.
“I said to the boys afterwards that they have set the standard.
“I am not saying they will blow teams away like that every time but if they put that effort in and stick together then we are going to win plenty of games.”
The only downside to a terrific day for Diamonds was the absence of captain Liam Dolman with Peaks confirming the influential centre-half missed out due to a calf injury.
“Liam has got a little tear in his calf,” the Diamonds boss added.
“He is desperate to play and we are desperate for him to be involved.
“But he is a massive part of this club and it has to be right for the long-term, not just the short-term.”
“He will be rested for the time being and we will look at him as the week goes on.”
Diamonds will be back in action on Tuesday night when they travel to Biggleswade Town, who claimed a 4-2 success at King’s Lynn Town on the opening day.