Leaders are in town as Diamonds return to action

Andy Peaks' AFC Rushden & Diamonds side face unbeaten leaders Moneyfields at Hayden Road tomorrow (Saturday)
Andy Peaks' AFC Rushden & Diamonds side face unbeaten leaders Moneyfields at Hayden Road tomorrow (Saturday)

AFC Rushden & Diamonds return to action with one of their biggest games of the season so far at the weekend.

By the time they kick-off at Hayden Road tomorrow (Saturday), it will have been a full 11 days since Andy Peaks’ team were last in action as they thumped Barton Rovers 5-0.

And it is quite a game to return to as they get ready to take on unbeaten Evo-Stik South League East leaders Moneyfields.

Having been promoted last season, the table-toppers have enjoyed a superb start to life at a higher level with nine wins and three draws from their 12 games so far, giving them a seven-point advantage at the summit.

With Diamonds being fancied by many to be challenging for the title this season, it is set up to be an interesting afternoon.

And Peaks, whose team sit in fifth place, eight points behind the leaders, can’t wait for what he believes will be his team’s sternest test so far.

“Obviously, a win would set us up really well for the weeks to come,” the Diamonds boss said.

“But it is going to be a really tough test. They have the best record in the league and they are top of the table for a reason.

“They have come up and they have carried on the momentum and I know they have ambitions to get through the leagues as soon as possible.

“So it is a nice little challenge for us. Moneyfields will lose a game at some stage and I see no reason why we can’t be the first team to beat them in the league.

“It’s a big game for numerous reasons and it’s definitely our sternest test so far.

“But I am really looking forward to it and I know the players will be too.”

Peaks, meanwhile, believes an enforced break from action will have been no bad thing for his squad.

“It will have been a while since our last game but that was a pleasing night and a good win so we are going into it with confidence,” he added.

“I don’t think the break will have done us any harm.

“If anything, I look at it as a good thing because it has come after the first part of the season and it has given some of the boys to rest a few aches and pains.”

Peaks expects to have Claudiu Hoban available again for this weekend after he missed the victory over Barton.