Lots of ‘twists and turns’ to come in Diamonds’ bid for promotion

Jack Ashton was back in the AFC Rushden & Diamonds squad at the weekend
Jack Ashton was back in the AFC Rushden & Diamonds squad at the weekend

Andy Peaks knows there will be plenty more “twists and turns” to come in the race for promotion from the Evo-Stik Southern League Division One Central.

Peaks’ AFC Rushden & Diamonds side showed their battling qualities at the weekend as they fought back to earn a 2-2 draw at in-form Northwood despite having to play with 10 men for 55 minutes after Connor Kennedy was red-carded in the first half.

Tom Lorraine grabbed the equaliser 12 minutes from full-time after Brad Harris had earlier given Diamonds the lead before the hosts hit back to go 2-1 up.

The draw moved Diamonds to within two points of Chalfont St Peter with two games in hand after the leaders suffered a 4-1 home defeat to another of the challengers St Ives Town.

Diamonds boss Peaks said: “The results on Saturday just proved that there will be plenty of twists and turns.

“I don’t think we have had a great deal of luck recently.

“But we are still in there even though we have been on a run where things haven’t really gone for us. That’s got to be a good thing.”

One big positive for Diamonds was Peaks being able to name defender Jack Ashton on the substitutes’ bench.

Ashton underwent knee surgery at the end of last year but has made big strides in regaining his fitness.

And Peaks knows the centre-half will have a key role to play during the run-in.

“Jack trained all last week and I had no concerns about putting him on the bench,” he added.

“In an ideal world we would have got him on for 15 minutes at the end but we didn’t do that, although had we needed him we wouldn’t have had any issues.

“He is still working his way back but just having him around the place again is great.

“He brings something different to the table. His enthusiasm is unbelievable.

“There’s no doubt he is going to play a big role during the rest of the season.”

Diamonds are due to return to action on Saturday when they take on bottom club North Greenford United at the Dog & Duck.