Diamonds' superb run has been built from the back

A collective effort has been the key to AFC Rushden & Diamonds' superb defensive record this season, according to boss Andy Peaks
A collective effort has been the key to AFC Rushden & Diamonds' superb defensive record this season, according to boss Andy Peaks

So often in football, it is the attacking players who take the glory.

But there’s no question that AFC Rushden & Diamonds’ superb form of late has been built from the back.

Diamonds have been close to unstoppable since changing to a three-man defence with a 15-match unbeaten run putting them on top of the Evo-Stik South League East and in pole position as they look to secure one of the two automatic promotion places.

The statistics don’t lie. During this incredible 15-match run, Diamonds have conceded just five goals and kept 11 clean sheets.

In total, their defences have been breached just 14 times in 26 league games.

And, as they gear up for a crucial clash with third-placed AFC Dunstable at Hayden Road on Saturday, boss Andy Peaks insists his team’s impressive defensive record has come about thanks to a collective effort.

“We have been very good defensively but that’s not just down to the back three, it’s been a real team effort,” Peaks said.

“People are putting their bodies on the line and we just don’t want to concede goals.

“That’s the mindset throughout the team from the forwards to the defenders.

“We have a group who are prepared to do the dirty work.

“There is plenty of ability in the squad, I think that has been shown on numerous occasions.

“But if you don’t have the right work-rate then it will never get you very far.

“So, from our point of view, we have to keeping working hard because as soon as we stop, we will come unstuck.

“We have to keep showing the same desire to not concede goals."