Peaks' delight as Diamonds break into the top five

Andy Peaks was delighted with a job well done as AFC Rushden & Diamonds saw off rock-bottom Redditch United 3-0 at Hayden Road.

Saturday, 1st February 2020, 8:19 pm
Updated Saturday, 1st February 2020, 8:20 pm
Liam Dolman celebrates after he scored AFC Rushden & Diamonds' second goal in the 3-0 victory over Redditch United. Pictures courtesy of HawkinsImages

And it proved to be a significant day for Diamonds as the win was enough to move them into the play-off places in the BetVictor Southern League Premier Central.

Peaks’ team took care of business quickly as Tom Lorraine’s 97th goal for the club and further strikes from Liam Dolman and Nabil Shariff put them 3-0 up inside 32 minutes.

No further goals were needed as they piled more misery on a Redditch team now managed by Rushden & Diamonds legend Duane Darby.

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Tom Lorraine enjoys the moment after he opened the scoring with his 97th goal in Diamonds colours

Peaks’ team now face a 10-day break from action with no game next weekend while their next match will be a huge one against third-placed Peterborough Sports at Hayden Road on February 11.

But, for the time being, Peaks is a happy man as he reflected on a fine run of form since the turn of the year.

“It was a fantastic result, three points and it was just what we needed so overall I am really pleased,” the Diamonds boss said.

“We were disappointed in midweek (in the 2-1 home defeat to Needham Market) because we felt we missed an opportunity so it was important we started on the front foot and set our stall out and we won the game inside the first half-an-hour.

Nabil Shariff was all smiles after making it 3-0

“It was a game I wasn’t looking forward to because it was almost a no win situation as they haven’t won for a long time and Duane Darby was bringing his team to a club where he is obviously very well respected.

“But we made sure there weren’t any twists and I would have taken that result if someone had given it to me beforehand.

“We are sitting in a fantastic position and, aside from last Tuesday, we have had a superb six weeks to put us right in and amongst it.

“We have got a little breather now but that’s not a bad thing after such a good month.

“We can take stock and we know teams are going to catch up a game on us but there are always funny results in this league.

“It’s just a chance now for me to have a look at things and maybe freshen it up with a couple of new faces.”

Diamonds’ cause wasn’t helped in the build-up to the game with Greg Kaziboni going back to Tamworth after a month on loan at Hayden Road and then immediately joining league rivals Banbury United on another temporary deal.

Peaks was also without the unavailable Ryan Dove and Jordan Macleod, due to work commitments, but did manage to add former Diamonds player Joel Gyasi back into the squad ahead of the game.

“It’s massively disappointing with Kaz (Kaziboni) because he came in and did really well,” Peaks added.

“He fitted in to what we are doing and seemed to enjoy it but when it’s a loan player, it’s out of our hands.

“It was last minute.com with Joel but he’s now got an opportunity to come in and make an impact.”