Peaks wary of Leiston as Diamonds bid to keep up their good form

Andy Peaks knows AFC Rushden & Diamonds will be taking on a very different Leiston side to the one they thrashed earlier in the season when they head to Suffolk this weekend.

Friday, 10th January 2020, 7:30 am
AFC Rushden & Diamonds enjoyed a comfortable win over Leiston back in August but the Suffolk team look set to pose a bigger threat to Andy Peaks' team in the reverse fixture this weekend. Picture courtesy of HawkinsImages

Diamonds thumped Leiston 5-1 in the second game of the BetVictor Southern League Premier Central campaign at Hayden Road back in August.

That was part of a dreadful start for the Blues who had to wait until October for their first win of the season.

But they have enjoyed a real upturn in fortunes in recent weeks and have pulled clear of the relegation zone and go into tomorrow's (Saturday) game having suffered just one defeat in their last seven matches.

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However, they will be coming up against a Diamonds side who are in a nice groove themselves.

Like Leiston, Peaks’ team have lost just one of their last seven and have won five matches in the same period of time - the latest success being a 3-1 victory over Barwell last Saturday.

And the Diamonds boss sees no reason why that good form can’t continue.

“Leiston have obviously turned things around and they have had a lot of changes there I believe,” Peaks said.

“They are certainly on the up, so we are expecting a tough afternoon.

“It’s a very strange league this season because we are on a good run and we have picked up a lot of points and tightened the gap between ourselves and the play-offs, yet we are still sitting in mid-table.

“Leiston are doing well, it’s a long trip but when you get there it is a nice facility with a decent surface and we have got to back ourselves.

“If we prepare right and we are ready for what they will throw at us then there is no reason why we can’t come back from there with some more points.”

Tomorrow's game will be the third of seven for Diamonds this month as they bid for a top-five finish.

They host Needham Market in the first of three home games in a row next Tuesday evening.

And Peaks added: “January brings with it a lot of games in a short space of time.

“You come into the Christmas period thinking it’s the time when the league is really taking shape but then, almost a month after that, the countdown is on.

“If we can be sitting where we are, three or four points off the play-offs, or better after another six or seven games this month then I will be delighted because we will be right in and around it for the run-in.

“I kept saying we would get stronger as the season goes on because our younger players are getting better.

“So we just need to make sure we stay in the hunt and give ourselves a chance to do something in the run-in."