Tough test for Diamonds as they return to action
AFC Rushden & Diamonds will be hoping to lay a ghost to rest when they head to Bromsgrove Sporting this weekend.
Bromsgrove inflicted a humiliating 8-2 defeat on nine-man Diamonds at Hayden Road at the start of October – a result that sparked a three-game losing streak for Andy Peaks’ team in the BetVictor Southern League Premier Central.
Bromsgrove have since shot up to second in the table while Diamonds head into tomorrow's (Saturday) clash sitting in 12th place, albeit just three points outside the play-off places.
Having been without a game last weekend, Peaks is hoping his players will be raring to go in the West Midlands.
“They’ve had a nice spell without any games so they should be hungry to get back into it,” the Diamonds boss said.
“We have had the chance to rest some aches and pains and hopefully we will be ready for some tough games coming up.
“Obviously we got well beaten by Bromsgrove. I know there were circumstances but they were very, very good.
“They were clinical, they were ruthless. They were everything I want my teams to be.
“They are on a great run so it’s going to be a massive test going there. But we will go there and look forward to it.
“I still think that, on our day, we are as good as most teams in this league. If you’re up for it and on it then you have a chance and it will be no different tomorrow.”
Diamonds were beaten 1-0 at Kings Langley in their most recent outing but were hampered by injuries to key players with Jordan Macleod (shoulder) and Liam Dolman (calf) both missing the game while Ryan Dove pulled up in the warm up.
And Peaks added: “I am hoping this break has cleared a few bits and bobs up.
“I would like to think we will have players back and there were others who were carrying injuries and probably shouldn’t have played that day if I am being honest.
“But just because we had players missing, that wasn’t the reason we lost the game at Kings Langley. We weren’t good enough on the day.
“We know you have to be at it no matter what but obviously, the more fit players you can get on the pitch the better chance you have of getting good results.”
Diamonds’ festive programme sees them host fifth-placed Peterborough Sports on Boxing Day before the head to St Ives Town on New Year’s Day.