Peaks wants Diamonds on the ‘front foot’

AFC Rushden & Diamonds manager Andy Peaks
AFC Rushden & Diamonds manager Andy Peaks

Andy Peaks wants AFC Rushden & Diamonds to get on the “front foot” if they get the opportunity to take on St Ives Town at the Dog & Duck tonight (Tuesday).

Diamonds’ home clash with Arlesey Town was abandoned at half-time on Saturday after a heavy downpour left the pitch waterlogged and that has resulted in a 2.30pm inspection this afternoon to see if this evening’s game can go ahead.

If it does, Peaks’ side will have the chance to move to the top of the table with a win with leaders Chalfont St Peter not in action.

But the manager is well aware of the task his team have in front of them against sixth-placed St Ives.

“It is another massive test against a good, hard-working team,” he said.

“They have been up there for most of the season and that doesn’t happen by accident.

“Christmas and new year are usually a pivotal time but because of all the postponements, nothing has really changed.

“That just makes it all the more important to try to push on from this point and I really want us to get on the front foot tonight.”

Diamonds will be forced into at least one change after Sam Brown left the club to travel abroad and Peaks has both Connor Kennedy and Luke Hipwell vying for that spot.

“Everyone knows losing Sam is a massive blow but football goes on and we have to move on,” he added.

“I am confident the boys we have got in can do a good job.

“It will be an opportunity for someone and they will have to take it.”

Peaks, meanwhile, believes the Southern League have made a “sensible decision” by confirming that Diamonds’s 1-1 draw at Kings Langley back at September will now stand.

Diamonds levelled late on in the game before a challenge on Brad Harris sparked a brawl, which forced the referee to abandon the match with just seconds remaining.

The Southern League have now said that the result will stand while Diamonds were found guilty of failing to control their players and fined £400.

There is a 28-day appeal period for the decision but if there is no appeal the league table will be amended after this period has lapsed. Diamonds have confirmed they will not be appealing.

And Peaks said: “I think it is the right outcome.

“The match was a draw in the 94th minute and to keep it that way is the sensible decision.

“Even at the time I felt it was a good point for us and I still feel that way.

“You will never keep everyone happy. But if we were to play it again and one of the teams won the match then that extra two points could seriously affect another club.

“So, for everyone’s sake I think it’s right that the result stands.”