Jack Bowen looks set to remain with AFC Rushden & Diamonds for the remainder of the Evo-Stik Southern League Division One Central campaign.
The striker played a starring role in his debut for the club on Tuesday night as he capped an impressive display by scoring Diamonds’ final goal in the 4-0 success over Barton Rovers at the Dog & Duck.
Bowen signed on a dual registration from United Counties League side Cogenhoe United and was given his chance by Diamonds boss Andy Peaks with Tom Lorraine and Elliot Sandy ruled out because of injuries.
And Bowen now looks likely to play a part in Diamonds’ final push towards the play-offs, which continues at leaders Egham Town on Saturday.
“We signed Jack on a dual registration, he is a player I admire,” Peaks said.
“We had a look at him last season as well but I think he has benefited from being at Cogenhoe and he has done very well and scored a few goals for them.
“Going forward, I think he will be with us until the end of the season.
“There was an opportunity that arose with Tom and Elliot being out injured and he came in and took full advantage of it.”
Peaks doesn’t expect Lorraine to feature again this season due to his hip injury.
But Sandy, who suffered a broken nose during the 1-0 win over Hanwell Town last weekend, could return in time for next weekend’s final game of the regular campaign against Godalming Town at the Dog & Duck.
“With Tom, I don’t think we will see him again this season,” Peaks added.
“I am sure if I was desperate, given the character he is, he would go out there for me but for his sake I think he just needs to rest up.
“Elliot is having his nose re-set tomorrow (Friday) so Saturday will come too soon for him. But I wouldn’t rule him out of next weekend by any stretch.”
Peaks, meanwhile, says he will be “limited” in what he can do when it comes to selecting his team to take on Kettering Town in the NFA Hillier Senior Cup final next Wednesday.
The clash at Sixfields comes smack bang in the middle of the final week of the league season, which looks set to see the Diamonds and the Poppies challenging for the play-offs and promotion.
Peaks fielded strong line-ups in the previous rounds of the competition and with the rules stating that players who only featured earlier are eligible for the final, it means the manager’s hands are tied.
But while he insists earning a play-off place in Division One Central is the priority, Peaks is keen to claim a piece of silverware when the local rivals collide for the first time.
“Because of the rules of the competition with players having played in previous rounds, I think I am limited with what I can do,” Peaks said.
“It’s not as if we can use the under-21s because they haven’t been involved previously.
“For me, the league is the priority and if someone gave me the choice, I’d take securing a play-off place.
“But I am not going to be in a position to make wholesale changes.
“When the time comes, it will be a final and we want to win trophies so we will be fairly strong.”