Peaks adds three to Diamonds squad for the run-in

Darren Purse, pictured in action for Chesham United against Kettering Town last month, has signed for AFC Rushden & Diamonds
Darren Purse, pictured in action for Chesham United against Kettering Town last month, has signed for AFC Rushden & Diamonds

Andy Peaks has strengthened his AFC Rushden & Diamonds squad for the run-in in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Division One South

Diamonds brought in three new signings ahead of last night’s (Thursday) registration deadline with central defender Edi Appleton returning to the club while experienced centre-half Darren Purse, who coaches the club’s under-18/MAA squad, has also joined having recently left Chesham United.

Peaks has also added former Stratford Town goalkeeper Andy Kemp to the ranks while leaving the Dog & Duck was frontman Lewis Wilson, who has joined St Neots Town.

The business was completed ahead of this weekend’s trip to Market Drayton Town where Diamonds will bid to tighten their grip on a play-off place as they currently sit in fifth spot.

Peaks said: “I am very happy with the squad that I have going into the final third of the season.

“However I have registered three very good players who can give us cover should we need them at this key stage.”

Peaks, meanwhile, knows his team will have to show the same “appetite” as they did last weekend if they are to continue their play-off bid at Market Drayton tomorrow (Saturday).

Diamonds claimed a fine 2-1 victory over fellow contenders Leek Town at the Dog & Duck to maintain their push for a top-five finish.

A consistent run of form in the final nine matches should see Diamonds secure an extended season.

But Peaks has warned his players they will have to be at their best again this weekend as they head to Market Drayton, who sit in 16th place, while a tough trip to title-chasing Witton Albion awaits next Tuesday night.

“We have obviously got a lot to play for and they (Market Drayton) haven’t but everyone seems to want to play against us so I am sure they will make it hard for us,” Peaks said.

“You only have to look at last weekend to see what this league is all about.

“Witton came to our ground and were very impressive and then they were beaten at home by Rugby in their last game. It just shows that you have to be at your best in every game if you are to get a good result.

“So we will go to Market Drayton and we will have to match their work-rate and we will have to show the same appetite we showed last Saturday and if we do that then hopefully we will come through it.

“It’s up to us to get as many points as we can between now and the end of the season.

“We know no-one will go and win every game between now and then but we just want to give it one final push to get to where we want to be.”

Brad Harris will miss the game as he serves the second of a two-match ban but Peaks is hopeful of having Ollie Brown-Hill and Dan Quigley available again while Kyal McNulty was due to return to training this week.