Peaks wants Diamonds to maintain high standards in FA Cup

Andy Peaks has urged unbeaten AFC Rushden & Diamonds to maintain their high standards when they go to Deeping Rangers in the FA Cup
Andy Peaks has urged unbeaten AFC Rushden & Diamonds to maintain their high standards when they go to Deeping Rangers in the FA Cup

Andy Peaks believes AFC Rushden & Diamonds “set their own standard” during last weekend’s 1-0 victory over Aylesbury.

Now the Diamonds boss has called on his team to ensure that standard doesn’t drop as they bid to progress in the FA Cup.

Diamonds make the trip to Deeping Rangers in the second qualifying round tomorrow (Saturday) and face a team they know well from their days in the ChromaSport & Trophies United Counties League.

And while Peaks is wary of their opponents, he insists confidence is high within the Diamonds camp as they remain unbeaten in all competitions this season.

The win over Aylesbury saw them stay level on points with Chalfont St Peter at the top of the Evo-Stik Southern League Division One Central with just goals scored separating the two teams.

Peaks said: I think we have set our own standard and now we have to make sure we hit that in every game.

“For the neutral, I would guess the game at Deeping has the makings of a good FA Cup tie.

“They are from a lower league, the two teams know each other well and they will fancy their chances.

“Obviously, the main aim is to go through and that’s what we will try to do.

“It won’t be easy. I have seen them play this season and they have some good players.

“But there is a lot of confidence within our squad and around the whole club at the moment.

“The key thing for us to make sure we are fully prepared and well organised.

“If we get those things right then we will give ourselves a good chance.”

Diamonds, who are unbeaten in their last 30 competitive matches, will be without suspended defender Jack Ashton.

But Peaks is set to be boosted by the returns of captain Richard Bunting, Steve Spriggs and Courtney Herbert who have all been missing through injury recently.

“Aside from Jack, it looks like we will have a fully fit squad available, which is great,” the Diamonds boss added.

“When we were putting things together during the summer I wanted to make sure there was competition for places.

“And with the lads coming back from injury it means we will have a few different options, which is never a bad thing.”