AFC Rushden & Diamonds boss Andy Peaks has called for his players to “finish the job” after opening up a seven-point lead at the top of the ChromaSport & Trophies United Counties League Premier Division.
The 2-1 win at AFC Kempston in midweek, secured by a goal double from Brad Harris, opened up a gap over second-placed Wisbech.
The Fenmen do have a game in hand but with five of their last six games at home, Diamonds have to be the big favourites for the title going into their game with Deeping Rangers at the Dog & Duck tomorrow (Saturday).
Peaks said: “We have got ourselves in a great position. We are where we want to be, but we’re not there yet.
“We’ve got six big, big games coming up and we have to keep our foot on the gas and finish the job.
“We need to keep playing at the same tempo and with the same commitment we showed at Kempston.
“That was as good as we’ve played for a while.”
The win at Kempston followed last week’s dramatic 1-1 draw with Wisbech in front of a big crowd of 930 at the Dog & Duck.
Harris popped up deep into injury-time to snatch a point for Diamonds and that goal may have swung the title race their way.
Peaks said: “We ended the game feeling as though we’d won and Wisbech must have felt they had lost.
“That goal hurt Wisbech and it gave us momentum that we took to Kempston.
“I never stopped believing the goal would come against Wisbech. There’s a real spirit and belief in this team. They never give up.”
Diamonds and Wisbech meet at the Dog & Duck again on Tuesday night in the semi-finals of the Knockout Cup.
“I want us to win the league and cup,” said Peaks.
“But promotion this season was always the target. We want to go up and if we go up as champions, that would be the icing on the cake.”
Wellingborough Town joint-boss Joe Smyth is demanding a response from his players at Huntingdon Town tomorrow following a third straight Premier Division defeat in midweek.
Oadby Town left the Dog & Duck with three points on Tuesday night after a last-gasp strike stunned the Doughboys.
Dan Spaughton had cancelled out Oadby’s opener and with a draw just moments away, the visitors snatched a winner on the counter attack.
Smyth said: “We’ve let ourselves down a bit in the last three games.
“We played well at Holbeach before capitulating, we didn’t turn up against Desborough and we lost to the last kick of the game against Oadby after dominating the second half.
“We missed chance after chance against Oadby.
“I’m expecting a response from the players on Saturday and I’m sure there will be a response from Huntingdon as well.”
Huntingdon will be fired up to avenge the 7-3 thumping they suffered at the Dog & Duck last month when Jake Newman bagged five for the Doughboys.
Desborough Town boss Ian Walker wants his team to finish the Premier Division season with a flourish .
Ar Tarn last week held Yaxley to a goalless draw and, following a break this weekend, they finish the season with four home games.
Desborough are safe from relegation but Walker said: “We won’t be relaxing.
“We want to finish off the season properly and finish as high up the table as we can.”
Walker admits his side have been “too up and down this season” and last week’s performance was among their best.
“I thought a draw was a fair enough result,” he said.
“I thought we should have had a penalty and their manager thought the same.
“But a point for us was a good result.”