Tough test as Diamonds target a Trophy run

AFC Rushden & Diamonds boss Andy Peaks
AFC Rushden & Diamonds boss Andy Peaks

Andy Peaks is hoping AFC Rushden & Diamonds can put together a good run in the Buildbase FA Trophy this season.

Diamonds have already beaten St Ives Town in the competition and head to Witton Albion in the second qualifying round tomorrow (Saturday) in a repeat of the Evo-Stik League Division One South play-off semi-final in April last year in which Peaks’ team were beaten 1-0.
Both clubs are now at Step 3 with Witton sitting in 18th place in Evo-Stik League Premier Division while Diamonds are 11th in their debut campaign in the Evo-Stik League South Premier Division Central.
And Peaks knows his team will have to come through a tough test if they are to secure a place in Monday’s third qualifying round draw.
“It’s a competition we have not had a great record in over the last few years,” he said.
“We have been part of promotion pushes and FA Cup runs but we want to try to have a run in the Trophy this season so this is a really important game for me and the club.
“It’s going to be tough because we played them three times when we were in the same division and lost all of them.
“They still have five or six of that squad with them and I think their league position is false because they had a run in the FA Cup so they are a few games behind other teams.
“But I think we are a much better team than we were last time we met.
“So we are looking forward to it, it’s a nice break from the league and we will go there looking to make sure we are in the hat for Monday’s draw.”
Diamonds booked a place in the last four of the NFA Hillier Senior Cup on Tuesday as Ben Diamond’s goal proved to be enough to edge out United Counties League side ON Chenecks at Hayden Road.
And Peaks added: “I made seven changes and whenever you do that, it’s bound to have an effect on things especially with key players not being involved.
“We have to give Chenecks a bit of credit but we can be much better than we were.
“But the positive thing is that we got through, which was the main aim.”