Peaks' delight as Diamonds edge close encounter

AFC Rushden & Diamonds boss Andy Peaks
AFC Rushden & Diamonds boss Andy Peaks

Andy Peaks was delighted to see AFC Rushden & Diamonds come out on top in a tight encounter as they edged closer to promotion with a 1-0 victory over AFC Dunstable last night (Tuesday).

Substitute Ben Farrell won and then scored a penalty with just seven minutes remaining to secure a second win in a row for Diamonds, who moved back to the top of the Evo-Stik South League East as a result.

Peaks’ team now have just three games remaining and, due to their superior goal difference, two wins should be enough to guarantee them one of the two automatic promotion places.

There was little to choose between Diamonds and Dunstable, who are challenging for the play-offs, for long spells at Hayden Road.

And Peaks said: ““It was always going to be a big night, it was a great opportunity for us to get back to the top of the league but, more importantly, get another three points on the board against a good team who are right up there as well.

“We had a good crowd in, it was never going to be pretty, it was a strong wind and the pitch was bobbly. It was always going to be a tight game and it’s nice to come out on top.

“It was a typical game which meant a lot to both teams. There were never going to be loads of chances unless someone scored early.

“We made a few changes to try to swing it in our favour and Ben Heath has made two great saves but I always felt we would get on top and get the winner and that’s what happened.”

Peaks, meanwhile, admitted he has seen Farrell take better spot-kicks in training than the one that proved decisive last night.

The midfielder sent his kick down the middle while Dunstable goalkeeper Jamie Head dived to his right.

And Peaks added: “I have seen Ben take a lot of penalties in training and they are usually better than that one was!

“But I was pleased to see it go in and it has given us a big three points.”

Diamonds travel to Cambridge City for their final away game of the season on Saturday.