Peaks full of praise as Diamonds' superb run goes on

Ben Farrell grabbed the winner for AFC Rushden & Diamonds as they made it nine league victories in a row with a 1-0 success at Bedford Town
Ben Farrell grabbed the winner for AFC Rushden & Diamonds as they made it nine league victories in a row with a 1-0 success at Bedford Town

Andy Peaks paid tribute to his players as AFC Rushden & Diamonds’ staggering run of form continued with a 1-0 success at Bedford Town yesterday (Monday).

Ben Farrell’s second-half goal was enough to secure an incredible ninth league win in a row.

That latest victory sent Peaks’ team five points clear at the top of the Evo-Stik South League East as they target a push for promotion in the new year.

“It’s obviously nice to start this year how we finished the last,” the Diamonds boss said.

“It was never going to be easy because of the conditions and the heavy pitch but we performed pretty well. I felt we were always fairly comfortable.

“I was pleased for Ben to get the goal. By his own admission, he didn’t have the best of first halves. He is a former Bedford player and was getting a bit of stick.

“But we just said to him that the best way to answer all that is to go and perform and get a goal and he did both in the second half.

“It’s another win and it has left us in a really good place and that’s what happens when you win game-after-game, which is what we have managed to do recently.

“We have gone from sitting just outside the play-offs to top in the space of two months so the players deserve a lot of credit.”

Peaks was forced into changes at the back with the influential Liam Dolman was ruled out through illness while Blaize Punter was delayed in getting to the game.

It meant a recall for Cameron Gilchrist and a first start in over a year for Jack Ashton following a serious knee injury.

And the manager was delighted with their contribution after being called up.

“Liam was actually ill on Boxing Day but still played for us,” he added.

“He didn’t train on Saturday and once Liam doesn’t train, you know he isn’t well.

“He let me know in the morning that he couldn’t make it and then, with Blaize having trouble getting to the match, it meant we needed others to come in.

“But I have to give both Jack and Cam real credit. They obviously looked after themselves all over the Christmas and new year period in the hope they would get back on the pitch.

“We needed them and they were both excellent for us. I think that tells us plenty about the sort of lads we have in this squad.”