Fast start pays off for Peaks’ Diamonds

AFC Rushden & Diamonds manager Andy Peaks
AFC Rushden & Diamonds manager Andy Peaks

Andy Peaks was delighted to see a fast start pay off for AFC Rushden & Diamonds as they stormed back into the top three of the Evo-Stik Southern League Division One Central last night (Tuesday).

Diamonds maintained their unbeaten start to the league campaign by racking up a seventh win in a row as they hammered struggling Fleet Town 5-2 at the Dog & Duck.

The majority of the action came in a breathless first half as Tom Lorraine’s brace and a goal from Andy Hall - in his first start for the club - put them 3-0 up.

Fleet pulled one back before Tommy Berwick made it 4-1, only for another defensive lapse to give the visitors hope at half-time.

But Peaks’ men produced a more disciplined display after the break and rounded things off when substitute Scott Joseph struck with 13 minutes to go.

The victory followed on from the 3-2 success over Potters Bar Town at the weekend.

And Peaks was happy to see his side get their business done as their focus now switches to the biggest game in the club’s history when they head to Barwell to battle it out for a place in the first round proper of the FA Cup on Saturday.

The Diamonds manager said: “I was delighted with the performance for 85 minutes out of the 90 so I can’t really complain, I thought we played some excellent stuff at times.

“The plan was to start well. They had a long journey up here on a Tuesday night and we wanted to put them under pressure and see where it took us.

“We got the early goals and it could have been as many as we wanted. The passing and the movement was good and the finishing was pretty clinical as well.

“I was disappointed with both goals we conceded and we have to learn from that.

“Maybe there was a bit of complacency at 3-0 and 4-1 but going in at 4-2 put a slight dampener on it because if we conceded the next goal then it would have made it interesting.

“But we defended better in the second half and slowed the game down a bit.

“The league is where the pressure is and we have won these two games.

“So we can go to Barwell on Saturday and really enjoy the occasion, knowing we are in a good position in the league.”

Diamonds, meanwhile, have confirmed that winger Claudiu Hoban has signed a contract that will keep him at the club for the remainder of the current campaign.

Hoban, who has been in fine form for Diamonds this season, was rested last night and is set to return for the FA Cup clash at the weekend with recent signing Hall being cup-tied.

Diamonds will have an option to extend Hoban’s deal for a further season.

And Peaks added: “Claudiu has been a great addition to the squad and I am delighted he has agreed to commit to the club.

“We were aware that he was attracting interest elsewhere and it shows the ambition of both the club and Claudio to agree on this contract”

Don’t miss a full preview of Diamonds’ FA Cup clash at Barwell in Thursday’s Northamptonshire Telegraph