Peaks is given a lift as Diamonds' fine form continues
Andy Peaks insists AFC Rushden & Diamonds are “exactly where they want to be” after their winning run continued with a 4-2 success over Stratford Town at Hayden Road.
Diamonds made it four victories in a row thanks to goals from Jesse Akubuine, Ben Acquaye, Liam Dolman and substitute Ben Farrell.
Peaks’ team remain in eighth place in the BetVictor Southern League Premier Central but the battle for the automatic promotion slot and the play-off places has tightened up.
Diamonds find themselves just six points behind leaders Bromsgrove Sporting and three off the play-off places.
Two crucial games are now coming up against two fellow contenders as Diamonds host Hednesford Town on Tuesday night before heading to Nuneaton Borough next Saturday.
And boss Peaks said: ““We weren’t at our best by any stretch but we did enough to win the game in difficult conditions.
“There is a lot of belief within the squad. We certainly didn’t play well for 20 minutes but I had the belief that we would win the game because I knew we were better than them if we applied ourselves in the right way.
“We have found a way to win it fairly comfortably in the end.
“We have won four games on the trot and haven’t moved that far up the league but things have tightened up massively.
“We are right in and around it and we have kept our season exactly where we want it to be.
“To be honest, the games since Christmas were ones I was half-expecting us to win to be honest.
“Those wins have set us up for games against two huge clubs in Hednesford and Nuneaton who have real aspirations to get out of this league.
“We will go in as slight underdogs but with nothing to fear and they are games we can really enjoy because we have points on the board.”
The win helped lift Peaks’ spirits after an upsetting morning.
The Diamonds boss has managed one of the club’s youth teams from under-11 level through the age groups and one of those players to feature in every season suffered a serious injury during Diamonds Under-18s’ game on Saturday morning.
Charlie Pearson suffered a broken fibia, a broken tibia and a dislocated ankle late on in their game and was due to be having surgery as a result.
Peaks added: “I have to admit I was feeling a bit down about that.
“He is one of the lads who has been with me since he was 11. He’s a great player.
“I know his mum and dad really well and I just felt sick when it happened.
“I just want him and his family to know that we send out our best wishes to him.”