Andy Peaks was delighted to see AFC Rushden & Diamonds come through a “serious test” as their push for promotion gathered pace with a fine 3-1 success at Moneyfields.
Goals from Ben Diamond and Tom Lorraine put Diamonds 2-0 up while Liam Dolman had a penalty saved before the first half ended with both sides being reduced to 10 men with Luke Fairlamb the visiting player given his marching orders for retaliation.
The hosts pulled a goal back early in the second half but Diamonds extended their unbeaten run to 15 matches as Ben Farrell converted a penalty to wrap up the points.
The victory sent Peaks’ team three points clear at the top of the Evo-Stik South League East and the manager couldn’t have been happier.
“This was a serious test for us and we have picked up a great win from a tough game and in really difficult conditions,” he said.
“We had planned for the game all week and the players executed it almost perfectly.
“We knew Moneyfields would be up for it, they have got some big players back recently and we knew it would be hard.
“But, for us, it was another game and we have ticked it off.
“We possibly made it a bit harder for ourselves by missing a penalty and then Luke being sent-off.
“But I think we have shown the strength of the squad again.
“I have always felt it was about us. We try not to look at other teams too much. I have always felt we have a group which is capable of getting us out of this league and, at the moment, we are getting things right.
“We have had a long trip and played in a game that was still in doubt right up until kick-off because of the pitch and we have come away with an excellent win so I am delighted.”
Peaks, meanwhile, believes winger Fairlamb will learn from his red card and the manager was relieved the setback didn’t throw his team off course.
“Luke reacted and got punished for it, it’s something he will learn from,” he added.
“But his team-mates have got him out of it. I just said at half-time that we couldn’t let the red card affect us and the players responded and went out and finished the job.”