Peaks wants Diamonds to get back to winning ways

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

Andy Peaks has just one thing on his mind ahead of the weekend – a return to winning ways for AFC Rushden & Diamonds.

The battle for the two automatic promotion places in the Evo-Stik South League East resumes with Diamonds heading to Northwood, who have suffered five defeats in a row.

But Peaks’ team have suffered a blip of their own in the last few weeks and they head into the final month of the campaign still on top of the table but only on goal difference from Hayes & Yeading United, although they do have three games in hand.

A last-gasp Ryan Robbins goal earned Diamonds a crucial point in a 1-1 draw at fellow promotion contenders Beaconsfield Town last Saturday before the Easter Monday clash with Bedford Town was wiped out due to a waterlogged pitch.

Diamonds and Bedford will now do battle at Hayden Road next Tuesday night.

But Peaks is only focused on this weekend’s clash and he knows his team must end their run of four matches without a win.

“We have seven games to go and we have been through a really tough period and I suppose you could say we have had some indifferent results,” the Diamonds boss said.

“The most important thing for us right now is to make sure we start winning matches again.

“On paper, Northwood have nothing to play for but there’s always something to play for when you are against a team at the top.

“They aren’t on the best of runs but I watched them play Beaconsfield and they were beating them until they had a man sent-off so they aren’t a bad team at all.

“There are no easy games. We have to go there and be at our best and if we are, then we will have a good chance of coming away with what we want.”

Diamonds got a helping hand from Hanwell Town on Monday as they grabbed a late equaliser to hold Hayes & Yeading to a 2-2 draw and stop them from taking over top spot.

And Peaks believes that was just another example of the “twists and turns” he predicted.

“We had to sit back and watch what happened elsewhere on Monday and Hayes obviously had the chance to go above us but they conceded that late goal and I think it just says a lot about the division,” he added.

“I have always said there would be twists and turns and I always believed that would be the case.

“Hayes have been the form team over the last month or so and Hanwell haven’t but it just goes to show that you can’t take anything for granted.”

Diamonds remaining matches

Saturday: Northwood (a), Tuesday: Bedford Town (h), April 14: Aylesbury United (h), April 17: AFC Dunstable (h), April 21: Cambridge City (a), April 24: Aylesbury (h), April 28: Ashford Town (Middx) (h).