Andy Peaks was “more than pleased” with another impressive showing by AFC Rushden & Diamonds against higher-ranked opposition last night (Tuesday).
Diamonds held Evo-Stik South League Premier side Hitchin Town to a goalless draw at Hayden Road but it was the visitors who moved into the last eight of the BigFreeBet.com Challenge Cup as they won the resulting penalty shoot-out by a 4-3 scoreline.
Diamonds recorded wins over Premier sides St Neots Town and Kettering Town in the previous two rounds of the competition.
And Peaks believes the cup “served a good purpose” for his team as they now prepare to resume their promotion challenge in the East division at Fleet Town on Saturday.
“I was more than pleased with the 90 minutes,” Peaks said.
“We have played three teams from the league above who haven’t been able to beat us over 90 minutes in this cup.
“It’s been a good competition for us this year because it has got the whole squad minutes.
“I thought we were really solid, the shape worked quite well and everyone put a shift in.
“It was probably a decent game for the neutral to watch. They are from the league above and they have some good players and I don’t think anyone at the game would have known there was a division between the teams.
“I was pleased with the performance overall.
“We have got a lot of work to do but that’s the sort of level we want to be playing at next season.
“The cup has served a good purpose and, when I think about it, it’s probably not the end of the world to come out of it now as it means we can focus on the league and the Hillier Cup.”