Performance pleases Peaks but Diamonds are just edged out

AFC Rushden & Diamonds turned in a decent display at Hayden Road but were beaten by early leaders Peterborough Sports

Tuesday, 31st August 2021, 8:02 am
Ryan Hughes was just off target with this effort as AFC Rushden & Diamonds were beaten by Peterborough Sports at Hayden Road. Pictures courtesy of Hawkins Images

Andy Peaks struggled to pick fault with AFC Rushden & Diamonds’ performance despite them slipping to a third defeat in four matches so far this season.

Diamonds were edged out 1-0 by early Southern League Premier Central leaders Peterborough Sports at Hayden Road on Bank Holiday Monday having also lost 2-1 at Bromsgrove Sporting 48 hours earlier.

But the final scoreline didn’t quite tell the whole story as Diamonds produced a decent display and went close to grabbing an equaliser with the likes of Ryan Hughes and Joel Gyasi squandering good opportunities.

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Joel Gyasi takes on Peterborough Sports' Johnny Herd

In the end, Maniche Sani’s first-half header proved decisive for the visitors.

But Diamonds boss Peaks said: “I was really pleased with the performance, I thought we were excellent throughout the game.

“Peterborough are top for a reason, they have some very good players and we knew what they were all about.

“Over the 90 minutes, I thought we completely matched them and were very unlucky to not get anything out of the game.

“The only thing we lacked really was a bit of quality in the final third. We got into some good areas and our final ball wasn’t good enough and, equally, we had some good chances and not tested the goalkeeper enough.

“They have probably had less chances than us but they have scored and we haven’t so it’s very disappointing.

“They are a free-scoring team but I was delighted with the work-rate, the shape was good and we were right in the game until the last minute.

“The boys are disappointed but that’s the standard we need to set and it was 100 times better than the weekend, although we were always in the game there.

“I think Peterborough were delighted to get away with the win.”

Peaks handed a first start to recent signing Jay Williams who produced an excellent performance in a defensive midfield role and the Diamonds boss was delighted with what he saw from his latest addition.

“I thought Jay was fantastic, he was exactly what I expected him to be,” Peaks added.

“It’s something we have been lacking, a bit of an enforcer and I thought he was absolutely top draw.

“There were a lot of good performances to be honest. Ryan Hughes was great at centre-half and really put his body on the line.

“There weren’t many bad performances to be honest, it was just in that final third when we needed that bit of quality and we didn’t quite have it.”

Diamonds return to action on Saturday when they head to league rivals Coalville Town in the first qualifying round of the Emirates FA Cup.