Peaks 'embarrassed' by Diamonds' FA Cup exit

AFC Rushden & Diamonds were on the end of a heavy defeat in their first home game of the season

By Jon Dunham
Wednesday, 23rd September 2020, 8:04 am
Updated Wednesday, 23rd September 2020, 8:06 am
Tom Lorraine's second-half header was ruled out for offside as AFC Rushden & Diamonds suffered a heavy loss to Newark in the first qualifying round of the FA Cup. Picture courtesy of HawkinsImages
Tom Lorraine's second-half header was ruled out for offside as AFC Rushden & Diamonds suffered a heavy loss to Newark in the first qualifying round of the FA Cup. Picture courtesy of HawkinsImages

Andy Peaks admitted he was “embarrassed” after AFC Rushden & Diamonds suffered a humiliating exit from the Emirates FA Cup.

Diamonds were thrashed 5-0 by Midland Football League Premier Division side Newark in front of a sell-out restricted crowd of 450 at Hayden Road.

Peaks’ team made the worst possible start with Jack Ashton giving away a penalty inside the first 30 seconds, which was duly converted by Ben Hutchinson.

It only got worse after that with Danny Meadows’ cross-cum-shot looping over Richard Walton and the same player thumped home a free header to make it 3-0 by half-time.

Diamonds pushed hard in the second half and Tom Lorraine had a header ruled out for offside as they tried to get back into it.

But Newark were lethal on the counter-attack and a second goal from Hutchinson was followed by a fifth from Kevin Bastos as the visitors completed a stunning win to move into the second qualifying round draw.

And the performance, which came three days after an impressive 1-1 draw at Nuneaton Borough in the Southern League Premier Central opener, left Diamonds boss Peaks seething.

“I am embarrassed more than anything,” he said.

“From the first minute to the last, it was nowhere near good enough and it was completely against all the principals I have.

“We knew they were on a good run and had some good players so we wanted to start the game well and the way we started was awful.

“We gave away a penalty inside a minute and then a looped shot has gone in inside seven minutes and that made it very difficult.

“But even then, the reaction after that wasn’t good enough and we were 3-0 down at half-time and it could have been more.

“People weren’t tracking their runners and not doing the job they were in the team to do so it was very disappointing.

“The second half was typical of what happens when you don’t score.

“I thought we dominated for long periods, it was a lot better but there was not enough quality in the final third and then we have got caught twice on the break.

“We needed to get the goal to make it 3-1 and see where it took us but we didn’t and then conceding the fourth and the fifth made it embarrassing.

“There were mistakes made that you can’t legislate for.”

Peaks was also left questioning the battling qualities of his team.

He added: “We have always had teams here who fight for each other and battle for each other. We have always had teams I would want in the trenches with me.

“That wasn’t the case this time. I’ve played the game and I know what it’s like when you are 2-0 down so early.

“But, for me, it then has to be about having some pride and seeing what you can do about getting back into the game. I didn’t see much evidence of that and that’s disappointing.”

Diamonds are back on home soil on Saturday when they return to league action against Barwell.