There's still all to play for in Diamonds' play-off bid

Substitute Ben Acquaye is tackled during AFC Rushden & Diamonds 2-0 defeat at Rushall Olympic on Monday night. Picture courtesy of HawkinsImages
Substitute Ben Acquaye is tackled during AFC Rushden & Diamonds 2-0 defeat at Rushall Olympic on Monday night. Picture courtesy of HawkinsImages

Andy Peaks is still full of belief that AFC Rushden & Diamonds can secure a play-off place this season, despite their recent blip.

Peaks’ team suffered a 1-0 defeat at fellow top-five contenders Stratford Town last weekend and that was followed by a 2-0 loss at Rushall Olympic in a re-arranged game on Monday night.

It means Diamonds have picked up just one point from their last three matches, a run that has seen them drop out of the top five.

They return to Hayden Road this weekend to take on Needham Market.

And manager Peaks has urged his players to keep the faith and enjoy the remainder of what has already been an impressive debut campaign in the Evo-Stik League South Premier Division Central.

Despite Monday’s loss, Peaks was impressed with his team’s performance and he is hoping those levels will be maintained when they step out in front of their own fans again.

“If we can perform like we did on Monday, believe in what we are doing and be positive in the last eight matches then I see us getting what we need to be in the play-offs, that’s my honest opinion,” the Diamonds boss said.

“We have hit a little blip but every team in and around that play-off area have had a blip at some stage.

“We have eight games left and during that time a lot of the teams around us have got to play each other so there is still lots to play for.

“We will train again this week and we will have a bit of fun and then we will be going to try to get a positive result tomorrow (Saturday).

“There are no easy games but I just want us to be exciting, I want the players to believe and I want them to enjoy it because they have earned the right to do that.

“We have to take all the positives from Monday night and see where it takes us come 5pm on tomorrow evening.”

Peaks, meanwhile, is in no doubt that his players are still up for the fight in the final throws of the season.

He made changes for the clash at Rushall following the loss at Stratford and, despite the defeat, insists he was impressed with the attitude of his squad.

“I changed things around a bit both before and during the game and the response was always the same,” he added.

“Every single player who was involved showed they are still up for this.

“I certainly saw enough positives to make me believe we can still do something in the remainder of the season."