Peaks happy to see Diamonds progress

Andy Peaks was pleased to see AFC Rushden & Diamonds pick up their first win of the season, although he admitted his team do have question marks over them.

Sunday, 21st August 2016, 6:45 am
Nabil Shariff is mobbed by his team-mates after scoring his second goal during AFC Rushden & Diamonds' 4-3 FA Cup win over Sileby Rangers. Pictures by Mike Capps/

Diamonds booked themselves a home tie with AFC Hornchurch in the first qualifying round of the FA Cup after they beat United Counties League side Sileby Rangers 4-23 in their preliminary round clash at the Dog & Duck.

Despite falling behind, Diamonds looked to be cruising through as an 11-minute hat-trick from Nabil Shariff and a goal from Liam Dolman put them 4-1 up.

But Sileby battled back and made it 4-3 and forced Diamonds to hang on after some late pressure.

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Liam Dolman takes the congratulations after he scored Diamonds' fourth goal

And while Peaks was “delighted” to see his team advance following two league defeats in a row, he admitted they have some work to do on their defending.

“I am absolutely delighted we are through,” the Diamonds boss said.

“I would have taken a win in the morning because it was always going to be a tough game.

“Sileby have started their season well and they have goals in them, which they proved.

Liam Dolman takes the congratulations after he scored Diamonds' fourth goal

“The positive is that we have won our first game of the season and that should breed some confidence.

“We didn’t start very well and they did. But we were 4-1 up 10 minutes into the second half and that should have been a chance for me to change things around and give some players the minutes they need.

“But I couldn’t do it because they scored two goals and it was game on again.

“We’ve made it very difficult and it has put a lot of question marks in my head about how we defend as a team.”

Peaks was full of praise for hat-trick hero Shariff and believes his goals will give the striker “a lift”.

“Nabil was very good against Chasetown, he looked sharp in that game,” he added.

“He got his chances and he has tucked them away very nicely.

“It gets him up and running. As well as he has been playing, a striker wants to score goals and that hat-trick will have given him a lift.”