Injury-hit Diamonds set for their 'toughest' test of the week

Action from AFC Rushden & Diamonds' 1-0 defeat at Biggleswade Town on Tuesday night. Picture by Guy Wills
Action from AFC Rushden & Diamonds' 1-0 defeat at Biggleswade Town on Tuesday night. Picture by Guy Wills

Andy Peaks believes AFC Rushden & Diamonds face their toughest test of the opening week of the season when they head to Stourbridge tomorrow (Saturday).

It has been a mixed start to life at a higher level for Diamonds after they kicked off the Evo-Stik South League Premier Division Central campaign with a fine 5-2 victory over Redditch United at Hayden Road last weekend before going down 1-0 at Biggleswade Town on Tuesday night.

Now they face another stern test on the road against a Stourbridge side who are expected to go well this season.

And boss Peaks said: “When I looked at our first three fixtures, I always felt that this would be the toughest one.

“They have hit the ground running with a draw and a win and, from the reports I have had, they were pretty impressive against Stratford on Monday night.

“They are a strong side, they usually have a good home record and we are looking like we won’t be going there at full strength.

“But we will go there with a team we feel can get the job done. We will be organised and we will be doing all we can to get something from the game.”

Diamonds were hit by injuries to strikers Tom Lorraine and Ben Diamond as both had to be withdrawn in the first half of their midweek defeat.

Captain Liam Dolman remains on the sidelines with a calf problem and Peaks insists he won’t be taking any “unnecessary risks” with his team selection.

He added: “Tom has pulled his hamstring so he is going to be missing for a few weeks.

“With Ben, he rolled his ankle and tried to carry on but we had to get him off there in the end.

“We will have a look at it. We may well have to patch things up again for this weekend and I thought John Dean did well when he came on so there are players who can step in.

“Liam is coming along nicely but, like Ben, I think Saturday might come a bit too soon for him.

“I am not prepared to risk anybody if it means there is a chance I could lose them for the long-term.

“We may well have to go with what we have got this weekend. If there is anything I can do to bring someone in then I will look at it but we won’t be taking any unnecessary risks with anyone.”