Work-rate and team spirit can help drive Peaks’ Diamonds on

The AFC Rushden & Diamonds players were all smiles after their dramatic 4-3 win at Hitchin Town last weekend. Picture courtesy of HawkinsImages
The AFC Rushden & Diamonds players were all smiles after their dramatic 4-3 win at Hitchin Town last weekend. Picture courtesy of HawkinsImages

Andy Peaks is happy to rely on the “work ethic and team spirit” at AFC Rushden & Diamonds as they look to maintain their push for a play-off place in the Evo-Stik League South Premier Division Central.

Diamonds claimed a remarkable 4-3 win at Hitchin Town last weekend as they bounced back from their New Year’s Day derby defeat at Kettering Town in perfect fashion.

Having gone 2-0 up, Peaks’ team found themselves 3-2 down in the second half but substitutes Jack Bowen and Sam Johnson, with his first goal for the club, struck late to give them all three points.

The dramatic victory kept Diamonds right in the thick of things at the top end of the table and they are one of nine clubs separated by just three points in the battle for the play-off places.

Diamonds return home to take on struggling Lowestoft Town at Hayden Road tomorrow (Saturday).

And Peaks said: “I think the Christmas period followed the theme of our season as a whole.

“Overall, I was pretty happy with what we did, there were things that went for us and things that went against us.

“People keep saying to me about the fact we have played more away games than home but we have still got to play most of the top teams at home in the remainder of the season so there are some big matches to come.

“We are enjoying it. We have a squad of 20 players or so who are all decent at this level.

“We probably don’t have any standout players so we rely on our ethics of work-rate, sticking together and team spirit to carry us through and we will need to keep doing that.

“I want my teams to be like I was as a player.

“I may not have been the best technically but I never gave up and always felt like I was honest and that’s exactly how our boys have been.

“Saturday was probably the best example of it because we had no right to win the game after our second-half performance. But they found a way and they deserve credit for that.”

Peaks is certainly taking nothing for granted against a Lowestoft team who sit just above the relegation zone on goal difference ahead of this weekend.

A late Ben Farrell penalty earned Diamonds a 1-1 draw in the reverse fixture in November.

And Peaks added: “I’ve said it all along that there are no easy games in this league.

“If you take the top two out of it, there really isn’t a great deal to choose between the rest.

“The fact there are only three points between the team in third and the team in 11th is ridiculous.

“We had a tough game at Lowestoft and scored a late goal to get a draw. We know we will have to play well if we are to get the result we want this weekend.”