Peaks happy to see Diamonds in the shake-up

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

Andy Peaks is delighted to see his AFC Rushden & Diamonds side “in the shake-up” as they head into a new year.

Diamonds are preparing for their first game of 2016 when they take on Arlesey Town at the Dog & Duck on Saturday.

As Peaks observed, 2015 has been a year to remember for the club as promotion from the ChromaSport & Trophies United Counties League Premier Division was followed by a fine start to life in the Evo-Stik Southern League Division One Central.

Diamonds bounced back from two defeats in a row with a 2-1 success at Bedford Town on Boxing Day, which kept them in second place and three points behind leaders Chalfont St Peter with two games in hand.

But Peaks knows his team can take nothing for granted as they aim to maintain their bid for automatic promotion against 16th-placed Arlesey next weekend.

“We have got a week to train and focus on the next game,” the Diamonds boss said.

“We are in a great position at the end of what has been a great year for the club and we are right in the shake-up which is what we wanted.

“It’s another tough game against Arlesey and I think the one thing I have learned so far this season is that there are no easy games at this level.

“So we will work hard during the week and make sure we are ready for the next challenge.”

Peaks confirmed left-back Sam Brown is about to head off travelling the world and that was one of the reasons why he signed former Wisbech Town defender Luke Hipwell, who was on the bench for the win at Bedford.

“We have brought Luke in because I am wary that we need cover in that full-back position,” Peaks added.

“Sam Brown is going away and by bringing Luke and Connor Kennedy in, it means we have lads who can do a job for us.

“I think they will both be good additions for the club.”